This month I got myself a Kindle Paperwhite.
I’ve been a bookworm my childhood and teen years, but somewhere around the ago of 21 I stopped reading books altogether – except from the mandatory tech and language books, that is.
I rediscovered reading in the last two years, when I realized books actually can help you make sense of the world and yourself, give practical advice and inspiration. In other words: You can actually use them to help you cope with reality, instead of struggling to escape it. – Because that was pretty much what I had used books for my whole life, and it’s why I stopped reading them (different story for a different post).
Just to give some examples, the two books that taught me the most valuable lessons probably are Passionate Marriage (which, despite its title is a good read, maybe especially for poly people) and Your Money or Your Life. I loved Coders At Work and Masterminds Of Programming. The Talent Code and Outliers inspired me to keep on practicing, and, although I’m highly allergic to esoteric woo-woo, I even read (and enjoyed) The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying.
Usually, after reading the last page I immediately disposed of these books – either by selling them or by just throwing them away. And although it was just softcover books, I soon got tired of carrying them around in my backpack, just in case I would want to read – because if I wanted, then I had probably forgotten to take it with me that day, but when I had it with me, there was never time to read.
The whole process felt incredibly stupid. I mean, come on: I just wanted to read a text, or to put it in a different way – get some data. Why did I have to have its printed version shipped to me (which usually meant waiting a day and having to walk through the rain to get it from the Packstation)? That’s what I call a slow and highly ineffective way of data transfer, causing, among other things, a growing pile of cardboard boxes and wasted paper.
But let’s be honest: It’s not only that the Kindle solves a problem for me. Yes, I got the Spanish version of The Hobbit, and with the Spanish Dictionary I installed I can look up every word with a tap. I can recite a dozen more reasons why I had to spend 129 Euros on this piece of technology, but the truth is it’s just a shiny new object I love to use. All my Vices are Devices. But it makes me read books, which is awesome, right?
By the way – feel free to recommend (preferrably non-fiction) books in the comments.