The more you know, the less you need – Yvon Chouinard
Sometimes, I’m tired from the myriad options available on the Internet to read. This video [via] perfectly exemplifies the dilemma most of us suffer from i.e. the need to have read everything interesting available to us instead of contemplating or even discussing what we have read. I admit that there are times I just put stuff in Instapaper to read later and forget all about it. Admittedly, there is tons of interesting stuff out there to read and every day more is added, and we haven’t even gotten to the books yet. Or the videos. Or the music. Or those inane personal anecdotes on /AskReddit.
Couple of weeks back, I realized that I have to step back and take a look at my reading habits. I realized that I didn’t have to read everything that I may find interesting. Yes, you too. Instead just follow people that you find interesting who will recommend stuff to read. I recommend staying away from those one-page articles or listicles (Best of…) that may elicit a chuckle or two but you will not remember any of it the next morning and it will not be useful even if you do. I recommend long-form writing that you can usually find in magazines like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, etc. These are well researched, sourced, and in-depth narratives of the issue at hand and you’ll come off having learned something in exchange for your time. I can understand that Twitter has greatly diminished our attention span but we have read content more than 140 characters long before so it shouldn’t be hard getting back in the habit.
There are plenty of websites now that cater to such long-form needs like Give Me Something To Read, Long Form, Long Reads, and The Essayist. I don’t claim to be an expert curator but based on my brief experience on curating and aggregating posts from the Indian blogosphere for five years at DesiPundit, I’m also sharing my list of long-form essays, videos, and photo essays over at a dedicated blog simply called, Patrix’s Favorites. I don’t promise on updating it regularly but when I read or see something interesting that takes just a while longer to appreciate, I’ll share it on there. I don’t share these on Twitter for obvious reasons.
Let me know if you have any system or habits dedicated to long-form reading or tips on how you make time to read interesting content that takes more than a minute of your time.