Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Regret - Not Reading Enough Books!

A very regretful personal trend I've noticed over the last few years is that I've been reading a lot fewer books than I used to, and I didn't used to read too many earlier either. This applies to works of fiction, self-help books, biographies, etc - the more 'traditional' books. I'm often reminded of this personal shortcoming of mine when I'm around friends and family who read a lot - I usually have much to contribute to conversations, until the topic turns to recent/popular books and I just draw blanks.

This regret hits home even more on the rare occasions that I do pick up a book recommended by my wife or my friends (on average, once in 2 months) - I tend to enjoy these books more often than not. The last works of fiction I read were Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash - both recommendations which I enjoyed, and took about 1+ months each to read. I read much slower than most 'good' readers (my wife, who can chow down books orders of magnitude faster than I can), which means I have more breaks and more opportunities for distractions.

When it comes to non-book reading though, it's a whole different story. I'm a voracious reader of blogs, news, current events, technology, opinions and trivia. I can read a newspaper cover-to-cover as fast as anyone I know, browse through several blogs a day without realizing it and read editorials/articles online pretty regularly. Maybe reality is just more entertaining than stories, or lessons from current events are more exciting than lessons in self-help books, or maybe I just do well with 'shorter' reading.

Or maybe I'm just not comfortable with the form factor of traditional books, which is why I've been eyeing Amazon's phenomenally successful Kindle - I wonder if that's my panacea. It's not cheap though. It would be super-awesome to be able to rent a Kindle at local libraries to check it out. I would totally buy one if it let's me get back into reading more 'traditional' books.

Hmm, I'm really tempted now. Maybe I'll just cough up the dough and give this a shot. Anyone have good/bad experiences to share about their Kindle?

No comments: