Monday, February 4, 2008

Reading list

I brought three for-fun books with me to Oaxaca. I lent one to a friend and shortly thereafter I finished the one I had been reading, and I started to panic about not having anything to read!

Which is silly, of course, given the fact that I have regular internet access. In addition to the couple of author blogs and entertainment news sites I regularly keep up with, there are other blogs I check occasionally and several issues of online fiction magazines that are taking up space in my inbox. And, as a sort of belated New Year's resolution, I've registered on and made the website my home page, in an effort to encourage myself to get my news from someplace other than the AV Club and random links from BoingBoing and John Scalzi's blog.

I first took seriously the idea of reading the New York Times when I (briefly) considered applying for a Truman Scholarship last year; one of the applicant qualifications is reading at least one thoughtful periodical regularly. Now, I do have a magazine subscription, but I don't think a subscription to Paste has the same kind of clout as one for Science or The New Yorker.

I don't think I'd ever take out a subscription to the actual hard copy Times; percentage-wise I probably wouldn't read enough of the paper to justify the waste of paper. (I actually have a hope that one day all daily newspapers will be entirely digital; while there is certainly something to be said for having something to hold in your hands, it seems incredibly wasteful to print something that most people will through away after reading half of. Just download it onto a Kindle- or iPhone-like device and take that with you on the train. Or something.) But, the website makes it convenient for me to find the things that interest me, and to catch headlines I might otherwise have missed, as wel as to refer back to things later without having to save piles of newsprint.

Anyway, I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm attempting self-improvement through the reading of "real" news.

To jump back to the hard copy issue, I do have to admit that the reason I haven't gotten around to reading those ezines is partly because they're only online. I usually do my pleasure reading right before going to sleep, and I like being able to shut everything off except enough light to read by. Ah well.

The beginning of this post was full of links! Dang.


Alex said...

It's funny...

I'm totally anti-digital-newspaper. Also anti-digital-book and -digital-periodical. The reason is not that my main goal in life is to waste paper, but rather that I love the tactile experience of reading. Even wedged into the & train at 7:30 in the morning, it was comforting to have a real paper to read. it's just plain different that looking up the latest news on your iPhone (which bug me for a variety of reasons).

This outlook of course forces a stringent RECYCLE ALL PAPER EVER policy, which I'm sure I could be a little more strict about on a day to day basis. But yeah, paper rocks.

Ayn said...

I understand the attraction to paper books (I think I even mentioned it in the post), but you're not actually ANTI-digital print media, are you? Like, you don't think newspapers/books should be digitized? You just mean that you prefer something you can hold/smell/bend/scribble on/etc, yes?