I don't read books anymore: “That’s not precisely true, but my book reading is down to a trickle of what it used to be. Most of my reading happens online for kottke.org and when I’m through with all that, the last thing I want to do is tuck into a book, no matter how good it is. But what I really haven’t been doing is talking about the books I’ve read or am interested in reading if I had the time. Oh, there have been a few mentioned on the site recently, but there are many more1 stacked on the bedside table, on the shelf next to where I put my keys, and in the ‘to shelve’ pile near the bookshelves that have gone unmentioned.”
[Via kottke.org.] Amen. Like Jason, I have piles of books left to read; most of which are review copies sent in by publishers for my Urban Planning blog. Since I’m on their mailing list now, they send in the copies without even asking and so the pile keeps growing. And I always mean to get around to reading them. I start a book but lose interest so have quite a few with bookmarks stuffed in them at different intervals.
When I flew to Chicago last weekend, I finally got around to reading Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guide to the Energy Crisis and I’ll post my review soon. But unless, I have to read a dead-tree book now, I rarely do and most of my reading is done online. Even the scholarly journal articles are read online complete with annotations and notes in Adobe Professional. Only when I have to interactive with the content manually, as we did for a house plan that we were looking at that I decided to print it out. This is by no means only from an environmental perspective. If you detach yourself from the emotional and nostalgic feeling of reading paper books, there is little reason to persist with paper books. It is just that I find reading and storing from paper copies cumbersome and I spend my day in front of the computer anyway so the only time I actually have an inclination to hold up a paper book or a magazine is when I go to bed. Hence the pile of books on the bedside table.