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Very scary side effect of my job | 52 Tiger

Dave Caolo putting into words something that I’ve been pondering for months now.

Every day, I scan hundreds of RSS feeds, articles, tweets, emails and blog posts. Literally hundreds. It’s a skill I’m proud to have refined, but at the same time, I’m worried that I’m losing the patience to slow down and read a long article from start to finish.

273 feeds for me.

The Good: Peers, managers, and family ask me what’s happening because I’ve got my thumb on the pulse. Each day is uniquely colored by what the world is saying.

The Bad: If the word count is more than a few hundred words, I have to decide whether to read it or not. And it’s HARD to say yes.

The Gold: My goal is to find any gold nuggets but the self-imposed filtering game is so intense that it can easily become the end instead of the means to the end. Instapaper helps tremendously in this process. Potential gold gets added to my Instapaper queue and when it’s quiet, I really read.

Quietly read.

Fiction Finally

I just finished reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

No big deal, right? Except that I haven’t read fiction since middle school. Programming books, news feeds and personal improvement? Yes. Fiction? No.

What changed is that I now carry books with me wherever I go on my iPad. A month ago, I discovered the Kindle app that I had installed early on and decided to read a couple of pages to see how well the fonts worked for reading. Two chapters later, I wasn’t thinking about typefaces. I was transported into another time where a professor and his nephew were solving riddles and heading to Iceland to search for a hidden passage underground. It had me. And, yeah, it took me a while to finish because I read with stops and starts. But I have rediscovered a love of words long since forgotten.

The Kindle app is now proudly displayed on my first home screen.