In Why It's Better to Read Slowly, I explain why I've fallen prey to our culture's dictate of "more is better." I've developed the habit of reading too much, too fast. So I spent some time reflecting upon my reading choices and decided to alter my relationship with books in a way that feels nourishing. I enjoy light reading at night so fiction is my preference. I'm also committed to experimenting by staying with ONE non-fiction book for at least 3-4 weeks. This feels like a much better way for me to absorb and digest the book's messages instead of jumping from one title to the next.
I've also been thinking of separating my reading experience from the rest of my digital obligations and interests: emails, podcasts, YouTube etc. Currently, all of it lives in one house: my iPad. My digital space has been feeling rather intrusive.
I've had a few conversations about this with my husband. And guess what happened! My sweetheart of 31 years gifted me a Kindle Paperwhite on Valentine's Day. This will help me achieve the goal of eliminating ALL digital intrusions and being present with my book. My Kindle can function as my "reading church."
I realize how mindful we have to be in reviewing our habits, lest we fall into the consumption traps of the digital age we live in.
So, why did I make these changes?
1. I realized that I had a number of books in my Kindle library, but wasn't reading them because I don't like to expose my eyes to light closer to bedtime. My Paperwhite has the option of amber light and is easy on my eyes.
2. Reading 2-3 books at a time makes me feel scattered. I'm not present to the gifts of the individual book I'm reading. My brain feels scrambled. Living with one book at a time feels like a deep meditative experience.
3. Reading fiction and non-fiction simultaneously works well for me. I like a light read at bedtime. When I wake up, I like to read a book whose messages are deeper, open me up, and expand my soul.
Do you have these digital struggles? Or struggles of another kind? Do you read multiple books at a time? Maybe you can, and do. What's right for me may not be right for you and vice versa. We must each find our own path.
The important thing is to find the experience that feeds us, not fatigues us.