Friday, May 14, 2010

Read more, learn more

I'm in web design now.

So I get to see 'Read more' and 'Learn more' a lot in calls to action. We click through to learn more, generally in the buying process.

But I need to take that advice off the web.

I haven't been reading enough lately.

For the better part of the last three years, I've been commuting downtown, hopping the 4 down Edmonton Trail and the 5 back up it.

A move put me on the C-train, a moving tin can of festering viruses.

Still, it afforded me the time to read.

I compiled a book list in December, going through Amazon and detailing the titles that intrigued me.

I started with great vigour, relaxing my mind a little with some fluff books ... strictly chick reading. After all, The Cult of the Amateur and Idiot America contained some intense stuff.

Then the whole team was transferred to a different building. Hallelujah, no more C-train!

My commute is now a five-minute dash in my trusty Escape.

Trouble is, I've stopped reading -- whether it's Why We Hate Us, a project that stalled since the move, or the latest issue of LouLou Magazine.

The most I read now are my RSS feed, your blogs and your Tweets.

Don't take it personally but I think I'm dumber for it.

Reading -- the physical act of holding a book or magazine -- has always been a relaxing, learning experience for me.

And it doesn't burn a hole in my hip the way my laptop does.

The mental act of reading long-form prose is more challenging to the mind, forcing me to be far more analytical.

I find our 140-character thoughts are easily forgotten, a mere blip in time.

And when I'm reading, there are only two people around to answer my questions.

Me and the author.

No one else to interject with a benign or sarcastic thought.

No one to jumble thoughts or detract from the topic.

Just the two of us -- a special relationship that can't be replicated in the expanse of online thought.

So as the sun rises higher and its light and warmth beckons me outside to the patio, there will be less technology in my world.

And more books.

Just me and my authors.

Oh, and Shep, too.

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