Over the holidays, we got to spend some good quality time at Dog Island– the best place on earth. As I prepared for the trip, I was going through the books I’m currently reading and some of the classics that I enjoy re-reading when it occurred to me that my “To Read” folder in Gmail has 199 messages in it. I could probably read nothing but good e-mails and old blog posts for a few weeks and not need to pick up a book.
But something about this just doesn’t satisfy. Only reading blogs, websites and newsletters feels very surface-level and superficial to me. It’s informative, but not satisfying. I consume, but I don’t necessarily improve or learn.
So I didn’t do it. I spent more time with my super-intensely-slow read of Antrifragile and also started Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I enjoy deep reads with big ideas because I believe that processing ideas over an extended period of time gives you an understanding you just can’t get from other sources of information. I enjoy reading a few chapters of good books before I run, and then each run I have tons of intricate details to process and think about.
I guess the difference between reading blogs (yes, like this one!) and actual books is the difference in high energy from a cup of coffee vs. high energy from a healthy lifestyle (good sleep, exercise, eating right).
They both can be valuable and help you propel forward, but to have any existence worth having, I think you need the deep study side as well.