Three Books I've Read Lately

I'm continuously curious about reading habits. I want to know how you read, I want to know when you read, and I want to know what you read.

I have my own weirdo reading habits for sure, still I prefer to talk to you about yours. Talking about reading habits is my favorite way to get to know someone.

I've gotten to know all sorts of people by asking them about their reading habits. Or by encouraging reading habits. Slightly annoying? Probably. Do I care? Not when it's about books and reading. 


Reading? No Thanks

I know people who don't read at all. Is this you?
Maybe you read the internet, but you haven't flipped the pages of a real book in years. I'll admit this makes me a little sad, and I'll probably recommend books to you knowing you won't read them (I can't help it).
We'll both be okay.

I'd Rather Listen

I know people who don't read actual books but do listen to actual books. Maybe this is you? If so, I highly recommend Hope Davis reading A Wrinkle in Time. She's incredible, and she made me fall in love with Charles Wallace all over again. (If you like Hope Davis and the way she reads, you must put Selected Shorts on your to-do list. I love Selected Shorts so much, and could dedicate an entire post to my love for the way they do what they do. Fall in love for yourself - give it a listen! One of my very favorite episodes of all time, forever, is one called Finding Yourself. It features a story by one of my favorite writers, Laurie Colwin (read by Hope Davis), and includes a truly incredible story by Audrey Niffenegger called "The Night Bookmobile". 

I Read What I Want

I know people who read and stick to just one genre. Fiction (I have lots of mystery and thriller friend readers). Non-fiction (I know lots of people who always want to know, and non-fiction is for them!) Young adult (I have about 5 adult friends who read YA exclusively!) I get a kick out of people like this because they know what they like and they stick to it. I admire that point of view.

Book Juggler

I know a few people who read more than one book at a time. They say it's because one book is really heavy, and another book balances it out, and yet another book is teaching them something. I'll admit, I've never really embraced this approach - until recently.
I am currently making my way through three books! I started with one, a book of interviews, and realized I could add a work of fiction into my reading time and I'd be fine. Then I picked up a work of non-fiction with a pretty heavy topic and added that to the mix. They're all different enough that it works (without making me feel too crazy about tracking plot lines and characters!) 

I'll admit I'm currently a book juggler.

Here are the three books I've read lately: 

Talk About a Dream: The Essential Interviews of Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is one of the most inspiring artists I've never had the pleasure of meeting. Even when he was just starting out, the way he talked about his art and how it fits into the world - it's just the most inspiring stuff to read. This book is a collection of early-Bruce interviews. Highly recommend.

The Franchise Affair - Josephine Tey

It's a 1940's mystery novel, and it is FANTASTIC.

Being Mortal - Atul Gawande

My parents both died when I was young, people closest to me are being diagnosed with terrible diseases. Being Mortal addresses many concepts that we, as a society, are missing when it comes to dying. I think you should read this more than once. 

 

You've got reading habits, I know you do. Tell me about them in the comments below!

Jami Curl Comments
The Best Souvenirs Are the Kind You Eat

I'm not always defined by what I eat, yet I do look to food to define my experiences in the world. Here's a story I wrote about embracing treat culture while traveling. Or, to put it plainly, the excuses I make for eating as many pastries and candies as possible when visiting someplace new. 

Jami Curl
Hard Work Works and Candy (is Magic) Dreams
Jami Curl
How to Quit Instagram

It was in January that I bid a fond farewell to Instagram.

In a couple of taps on my phone, I removed an approximate 10,000+ photo history of myself from the internet. In the time it takes to pick up a mug and take a sip of coffee, I removed myself from an equation that I had somehow convinced myself was important "work" in both selling and promoting "my brand" and "my product". 

The truth is that Instagram was taking away from any actual work I was doing or could do. Because it was splitting my focus. It caused me to not be able to concentrate for extended periods of time. I'd start work on a legitimate project, get a few minutes in, then stop to see what was happening on Instagram. Had anyone commented on my latest post? Did someone have a question that needed answering right this very second? The short version of the saga is this: Instagram was harming my ability to produce good work. So, I quit.

Should I list here a collection of what I've accomplished since quitting Instagram? I'm not going to do that. I can tell you that I've gotten a lot done. My ability to concentrate is coming back. I've stopped reaching for my phone every 5 minutes. When I wake up I reach for a book, or letter writing paper, or my cursive handwriting workbook (constantly trying to improve! Even my handwriting!) instead of my phone. My time feels better because when I get to the end of the day I can review a big list of different tasks I was able to start AND finish. (I respond really well to this kind of "list and review" way of thinking. Because I am a nerd. A nerd who gets a lot done.)

One of the activities I've decided to commit to since quitting Instagram is to write more. I used to blog every single day, without fail. I think I felt sharper then. I was better at making connections, at reading articles or books and understanding what to do with that information - how to share it in a way that only I could. I miss that very alive thinking feeling. I'm committed to getting it back. 

 

 

Jami Curl