T his pleasure is really, really sweet. Sweet to the very extreme. I know it so. I can say it so.
But I don’t know it alone. Yes, many others do.
Yet, many, yes, very many, don’t. The pleasure of reading. It is especially shackled by social media.
Tweet It, No, Post It
I once read a friend on Facebook’s excellent thought. No, post. It was roughly 300 words, I think. It couldn’t have fit a tweet.
It was no nice, and sorry I don’t have a copy to share here. But I immediately left her a comment. “Whoa, this post should’ve been on a blog you own. Someday, thoughts like this should make a collection, a book!”
Tell you what, this particular post by this time had been liked by well over 300 friends and followers, reshared, commented on…
She said she couldn’t get that kind of “love” elsewhere. Facebook it’s gotta be! Facebook it became. Facebook it is.
People, many, many people, just seem to be looking to snack. For snack. Snacks. So, Facebook dominates. She was right. If she offered such thought in a book, the pleasure would be missed. Sad, huh?
Same way social media makes us waste good thinking, you could just tweet it away, it also makes us miss the pleasure of reading. This pleasure. Of. Good thinking. Real (good) food, not (empty) snack.
The pleasure of reading is shackled by social media.Tweet this
Know This Pleasure
What I ultimately want is real (good) food, not sweet (but empty) snacks. So I read. A lot. It’s how I came across a personality like Jeet Thayil. I met him.
Well, on Twitter. And by virtue of a “retweet.” Then I read his roughly 3,000-word interview transcript. It was sweet.
A section of his words inspired what I’m sharing with you here. And I quote it here in its entirety to help you start reading more. To know this pleasure of reading. Really, if you’re a reader of my blog I trust you do. So, here we go.
Why Read — Jeet Thayil
I can think of no other pleasure as exquisite as sitting on a chair or lying on a bed with a book open on your lap – a book gripping enough for you to be able to lose yourself in that book and lose your mind and all the things that you think constitute you and be able to immerse yourself in somebody else’s head: I honestly can think of no other pleasure quite as acute as that pleasure. People who don’t know that pleasure – and there are many among us who don’t, especially in this fractured time of social media – I don’t know how they get through their day.
You Know This Pleasure
I want to bet that if you’re a faithful reader of my essays this pleasure of reading is not lost on you, not shackled by social media. But like I do on my blog, I should make it practical for you. See how this pleasure can work for you.
Your Reading Schedule
Here’s what works for me. And it’s a combination of audio and text. Audiobook is suffering a bit now though (except podcasts) because I cancelled my Audible account. No convenient option yet. If you know one I don’t, kindly share.
1. Be On Twitter
Follow people who write about your interests. (Don’t mind whether they follow back or not.) They have their writings on blogs and books whose links they share regularly.
You’re here for these links to their thoughts to read, and to engage later on.
1b. Or Be on Their List(s)
I’m not a big fan of email lists. Newsletters. I’m not encouraging you to be either. It was a huge time suck, back then when I was on many lists. Presently, I’m only on about 4 or 7, which don’t mail on a regular schedule.
Yes, I do check my email every morning. But it is to expect business communication. And no more than 10-15 minutes, with a plan to schedule replies, if I must.
But if you’re not that cool with Twitter, email is fine.
So Twitter and email are somewhat mutually exclusive. I can say it’s easier to get communication from a hundred and fifty persons on Twitter, with Pocket handy, in a given period, say an hour, than email. How can you manage an inbox that gets emails from a hundred and fifty persons each day. But your Twitter circle can grow that large. See?
2. Use Pocket
Or any other save for later reading app you might prefer.
As you go through your Twitter feed once a day, say 30 minutes or an hour, Pocket links you’ll read later on. This will give you plenty out of your short time here to engage others on the network.
So, except you sense urgency about a link and you must open it immediately to take action, don’t try to open any link that requires reading. Just “pocket” ’em!
This might work on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn or Google+. But I don’t know. I’m not active on those. Check.
Of course, this essay is about reading in general, not just online posts. So?
3. An Hour Before
If you sleep at the latest 10 PM good for you. Because you should target wake time at 5:30 AM. This early, if you’re like me, you can pray, meditate, and read at least one hour each morning before work or whatever else will fill your good day.
This is 1 hour to your daily total.
4. 30 Minutes Later
If your employment allows you, awesome. If you can get it at your own will, perfect. Whatever you do… Set aside siesta break everyday. If you can take an hour 30 minutes off here’s my guide.
10-20 minutes, nap. 30 minutes, read. 30 minutes, have a meal. Enjoy!
This so far makes 1:30 minutes to your total. You’re doing fine.
5. An Hour After
It’s been my habit for some years now to never sleep except I have expanded my mind with something. This pleasure. Worth the while. Some good book. Some really ‘gripping book!’
Depending on your work, your family size, your arrangement of activities, other, how much time left for this pleasurable activity of reading, which should be personal, may be limited.
But by all means strive for an hour after. Gives you? Two and a half solid hours every day to have this pleasure!
All in All
So you see these 5 actions together free up at least 2 solid hours of reading for everyday! Enormous for the pleasure you can have.
So my appeal is don’t waste any thoughts in a tweet or Facebook post. Collect them and share where and how you and others can benefit from this ultimate pleasure of reading.
Then knowing this pleasure, together with Jeet Thayil we can always get through our day. Reading. Sweet!
Let’s discuss this essay on Twitter #ThisPleasure