Some people are avid readers. They have a few books on the go all the time – fiction, non-fiction. They have their favourite magazines. They subscribe to hundreds of blogs and keep up with them. They even read all their emails. I’m not one of those people. When I’m reading a book, I find it difficult to read the blogs I subscribe to. When I’m really into reading stuff on the Internet I don’t pick up a book at all. This is not a good thing.
Books are great because they end and you can read at your own pace. Blogs just keep going. Books are great because they have a sustained plot or argument that leaves a lasting impression even if you can’t remember the details. The best blogs can do this too, but mostly they are little loosely connected ideas. Blogs are great because they are raw, unedited, timely pieces of writing that we wouldn’t otherwise get access to.
I’m thinking I need to read more books. I’ve gone through a real drought lately, and stopped reading books in favour of blogs. I’m tempted to not take my time with a book, with an argument or with a plot. I’m tempted to find the next good idea and move on. You have to sit with a book, you have to invest time. But what’s interesting is that the more blogs you read, the more time they suck up time without you noticing. When I read a book I notice the time I’m putting in and often think I’m wasting my time. But when I think about it I’d rather know what I’m getting into. With blogs the time disappears and you only notice after a few hours of reading that that time is not gone. It’s easier to be disciplined with a book, at least it is for me. Time for more books, I think.