I’ve had to teach myself how to read books again. When I was a kid and into my 20s I read books voraciously, but beginning in my 40s I transitioned to a diet of articles and status updates consumed on the Internet.
Listening to a recent Ezra Klein podcast yesterday, he talked about the need to spend an hour or more of uninterrupted reading – get into a deep reading state, to truly absorb information and make connections. I suppose I did that yesterday, got in a good hour of reading. But I switched between two books — a history and a science fiction novel. Does that count?
For most of my life, I’ve followed Theodore Roosevelt’s reading style. He read voraciously and widely, and just kept books with him at all times and read when he could, even if it was just for a minute. People who worked with him at the White House said that if he even had a minute or two between meetings in the Oval Office, he’d pull out a book and read for whatever seconds or minutes he had available.
When I was a kid, I read sitting on the couch when my family was around me watching TV. I can’t do that anymore. If the TV is on, it pulls me in.