Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
I am trying to read, and it turns out, it’s hard.
One of my most important personal goals in 2017 is to read more. I don’t read as much as I should, especially considering I write books. Have I mentioned that?
It’s embarrassing to admit that I only read, like, a dozen books in 2016. And I didn’t even keep track of the ones I did read!
But now we’re almost halfway through the first month of January, and I’ve barely finished my first book. Which puts me on track for about twenty-four, which is double last year, I guess, but I’d like it to be much higher than that.
Now, the problem isn’t that I don’t have time, because I do have entertainment time. I don’t spend a whole lot of time watching TV, but I do watch a lot of YouTube videos and Twitch streamers.
So why, when I have a spare moment, do I choose to do those things instead of reading?
Well, for one thing, it’s easy. I’ve always got my phone on me, and that’s where I watch video.
When my main source of entertainment is in my pocket, it’s a lot easier to work that time in when I’m waiting, walking, or residing upon the porcelain throne.
Of course, I can put books on my phone if I want, but I don’t want. I dislike reading ebooks.
It’s a little bit more of a pain in the butt to always carry a book with me wherever I go, but that, actually, is one solution I am going to attempt.
I’m also going to try to get back on a regular schedule, now that the kids are back in school, and that means I can schedule reading time before bed every night, which should help.
The question still remains, though, why do I fall so naturally into watching videos while I have to work so hard to make myself, you know, actually READ.
That answer’s going to be different for everyone, but I feel like for me, part of the issue is that reading is more work.
You have to actively engage in a book, whereas when it comes to YouTube videos, or video games, though I rarely play those these days, you can sort of shut your mind off to a degree.
And since I’m using my mind all day, every day, at what I do, it gives me a more immediate pleasure to shut down and just let myself passively consume some media.
But the long-term pleasure of finishing a book is much, much greater. The feeling of finishing a really satisfying novel is just one of the best feelings in the world. It’s why I read literally all the time when I was a kid, and why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.
Plus, there’s all the stuff that studies show, where reading improves your mental function and intelligence more than consuming other types of media, etc. etc. etc.
I’ve been noticing—and I’m not sure if this is a symptom of turning 30 or what—that I’m more able to apply myself to long-term actions for greater benefit, rather than taking easier short-term actions.
So I’m confident I’ll be able to figure out a solution to getting actual reading time in and hitting my target of at least 50 books this year.
I think that reading is important for people in general. And I think that now more than ever, it’s important to read and actively participate in our media rather than sit and passively consume pictures and sounds that come at us from screens.
He said, in his vlog, on his YouTube channel.
Listen, I’m not trying to say that YouTube is bad at all. It’s a great place for community and discussion and spreading ideas.
But it does provide one thing in our lives. And it does not provide us with another. It gives us a quick fix, a temporary pleasurable moment, which we naturally want more of.
It does not give us the long, slow burn of a book that gradually unpacks our thoughts and reshapes them after conscious or subconscious consideration.
I think it’s great to spend time and build communities here on YouTube. But I think it’s also important not to lose the incredible benefits we can get from reading.
As most of you know, I have a Discord server, which is basically like a chat room where people can come and hang out.
I’ve just created a book club channel in there where we’re all going to be talking about what we’re reading, and maybe reading some books together. If you want to check it out, I stuck a link to Discord in the description below.
That’s it for today, Rebel. Maybe check out that video up there—YouTube seems to think you would like it—and if you haven’t checked out my Patreon, you can find it right there and see the secret videos I release every weekend.
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.