#Fadergram November / You Are What You Read

Below is an article on reading featured in the latest issue:

You Are What You Read
What/Why I’m Reading Now

If there’s anything I want to tell you today, it’s that reading matters. It matters both because of the form  and practice, as well as the content.   
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved reading. Books can transport you to another world, or teach you more about this one. Books can incite compassion and action as you hear and respond to someone else’s story, or they can serve as a mirror, reminding you who you are and what you dream of doing. Reading can expand your thinking, as you wrestle with the insight of an author who isn’t you. I think books are pretty awesome, particularly when read.
Months ago, I found myself somewhat mindlessly reading a high quantity of articles online, but not feeling the benefit or accomplishment of making it through books. In fact, I had made it only part way through several books, and I spent more time immersing myself in floods of information online, but didn’t feel that I was really learning. Maybe there isn’t anything sacrosanct about book reading specifically, but I noticed several differences between my experience of blog and article reading online compared to reading books. I’ll name two: 1) Focus. Online reading lends itself to skipping around, books help me focus. I can read several online articles in a matter of minutes, but I have likely jumped around to multiple topics. While a book is less visually stimulating than a website, I think that lends itself to the focus and contemplation required. If form follows function, then a book still seems like a great way to be immersed in information without the clutter. Is that true to your experience?
2) Depth. Online, it is easy enough to find blogs and websites to teach you new things, and it’s awesome. However, the website or blog is often the space for development of idea rather than the fully fleshed out form. It’s great space to gain insight and access into the minds of great people who are writing topics of interest, but I still can feel lost in the clutter and not have adequate depth. After that realization, I was resolved to read one book at a time, and prioritize book reading to reading online. The other part of this commitment was to reading books that will grow and challenge me, whether fiction or nonfiction. So, I’m finding authors and topics I connect with online and elsewhere, and am taking time to read their books. To close, I have some questions for you:
  • Why do you read? What do you hope to gain or what does the experience of reading do for you personally?
  • What are you reading now? Why? What genres or topics do you read about? How does that impact you?
  • I recently did a post about the ten books that have impacted me the most in my life. What are the ten books that stand out to you?

Read fiction, read nonfiction. Read things that make you think. Read poetry. Read family newsletters. Read fine print. Read fewer BuzzFeed articles. Read! To reading, growing, exploring and learning!     -Ben

Benjamin FaderComment