Musings on my 2017 reading habits

Happy New Year!

I posted here a grand total of two times in 2017. Obviously, it was not a great year for my writing – at least from a non-Facebook-posting perspective. I did, however, do a ton of reading.

I probably read more this past year than I have in a long time, and a great deal of that was related to current events – news and commentary – along with splashes of fiction and sports. For the first few months of the year (and the last few of 2016), I was even actively buying newspapers every Sunday. My lifestyle and habits aren’t as conducive to reading a physical newspaper as I would like them to be, but for about six months I tried to make it a weekly thing.

I enjoyed the physical aspects of unfolding and reading through a newspaper. I appreciated being more connected to local news, reading local opinions, and so on. But I work a lot of Sundays, and after a while my relationship with the newspaper wasn’t working out: I would buy one early in the morning on my way to work, and it would sit on the back seat of my car for two or three days, and then it would be old news and eventually get thrown away. After a month or so of this, I came to the realization that I was wasting my money, so I stopped buying them. I did not, however, stop reading.

Most of the news that I read is online and on my phone. I’ve been a heavy blog reader for a long time, and I still am, although my sources are different than they were years ago (in the Google Reader days). I follow some news reporters, some finance people, some sports writers, and some gaming-related content creators on Twitter, and also share posts with friends on Facebook. Ultimately, Twitter is where I get the majority of my news nowadays, although I also subscribe to the New York Times and Washington Post, and I do use their apps frequently. I still use the Feedly app to read blogs more “traditionally,” but not anywhere near as much as before.

I’ve also become one of those people who reads so much in the way of news, blogs, and other online content that book-reading has completely fallen off. I don’t think I finished a single book in 2017, which bothers me on some level. With that in mind, I got a library card a couple of months ago and can now borrow books on my iPad, so I’m hoping to make use of that in 2018.

Much of this year has been spent reading and learning, in light of the current political and cultural situations in America. I find that I am going through a process of learning about myself, and hopefully becoming a better person as a part of that. As such, in light of the semi-regrets expressed above about not reading books, I definitely feel that I progressed and matured as a person in 2017, with the help of many men and women who wrote thought-provoking material last year.

I haven’t made any concrete resolutions this year. I get a lot of value from learning about both myself and the world around me, and working to better myself, and that doesn’t really fit within the confines of a 365-day period for me right now. I may take up a project or two in 2018, but I’ll get to those as the inspiration (or necessity) hits me. I did a lot of good work in 2017, and I’ll build on that this year, and we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, this is purely a post that came about spontaneously. I started writing it less than a half-hour ago, and it was fun. I hope you are all safe and well, and wish you a healthy, peaceful, and productive 2018!

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Thanks for reading this post by Russ (@DischordantRuss) at Dischordant Forms. Comments are welcome!

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