I was thinking about how much has changed with the disruption of the publishing industry and how much my reading habits have changed because of it. Much of it I quite like: the ability to have a book arrive on my Kindle Fire with a tap of the screen is truly amazing; the fact that I can receive a book from the library on my Kindle is equally amazing; I listen to more books on my iPod because of Audible.com. The change in delivery systems for books was overdue.
What has been more difficult to corral is my attention. I'm a reader. I've spent days lost in books; given up sleep to story. With a Kindle Fire I get waylaid. Like a bee in a field of flowers, I flit. In the flitting the immersion is fleeting. It is that, specifically, that I miss the most and have had the greatest difficulty recapturing. There is the urgency of now in the air, along with the never ending flow of desirable goods...reading material. Seems I've been in constant acquisition mode.
I've decided to stop for a time; then to consciously slow it down; to bring the flow to a trickle. I think of how many bookstores I've walked into, how many library hours I've clocked. It was never about gathering as many books as possible, it was always about finding the one, two, or three books that I was deeply interested in reading and thinking about, something worthy of my time. I'm easing back into time off-line and untethered, where I deliberately watch the stream flow by me instead of being drawn into the skimming light of it all. I need to bring a desired balance back into my life. I want to really read again.
How do you handle reading in an age of abundance?