I love books.
I underline in them (using a ruler so “yes” I’m anal).
I make notes in my journal.
I get article ideas and I feed on those ideas I never thought about myself.
I learn new words ALL THE TIME and I learn them in context.
Lately I’m not finishing books quite as quickly as I used to a couple years ago. Five years ago I had no television. My concentration levels were higher. Now with the distractions multiplying, it’s not that I am allowing them to intrude, but I can’t seem to concentrate and find myself re-reading paragraphs…starting over chapters…eventually tossing one book to start another.
I feel under pressure to finish a book just to move onto another one.
Why was I rushing? I had no idea.
That is until today.
I read a post by Jen Louden and I knew why. I was trying to speed past all the fodder to get to the nuggets, those ideas that would transform my life and help me to transcend the life I’m currently living. I was looking for short cuts.
I’m taking Cal Newport’s advice and intend to read more slowly. After all it’s the wisdom that I’m seeking – not getting to the end or only finding the “good” stuff.
- It helps you sharpen your ability to work through complicated ideas.
- It trains your ability to resist distraction.
- It adds new layers of sophistication to your understanding of others and the world we inhabit.
- It builds your comfort with ambiguity and respect for disciplined expertise — both useful traits in an increasingly polarized and unjustifiably self-confident culture.
I just cleared away all the books from my desk (those I’m going to read after finishing the one I’m reading now), put them away on the shelf and intend to focus on the book at hand The 5 Essentials.
Do you find that you’re unable to read like you used to?
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