In updating my What I am up to now page, something I haven’t been keeping up with, I realized the two books that I started reading earlier this year haven’t been finished. I’ve read, mostly trashy things that entertain, but nothing that requires my full attention, or perhaps challenges me in ways a harder text might. This is a somewhat embarrassing mistake on my part which I think illustrates just how much more challenging long form reading has become when my overwhelming habit is to skim for information. When reading in this manner, including the tweets, headlines, rss and websites that I visit becomes habit, it’s difficult to return to the kind of texts that really educate you, books “which force us to think deeply about ourselves and our world”. When trying to refresh or learn some new perspective with regard to design research, I even have the habit searching out a video first, and ignoring a more complete tome.
I now spend an increasing number of hours training my body every week, I think it’s time I return to doing the same for my mind. Reading challenging books should help with that.