Coffee, phone, book, and notes
Image credit: Daria Obymaha

So Much to Read

It’s an early Sunday morning. Coffee, check. Pastry, check. Laptop, notebook, favorite pen … check, check, check. Perfect Sunday morning! I have already bookmarked a ton of articles and posts to read. So many bookmarks! Is it my imagination, or is there much more good stuff to read lately?

Maybe it has always been there. And perhaps I didn’t notice because I wasted so much time scrolling through seemingly infinite social media feeds. Well, I’m trying to break that habit now.

I completed step one when I removed Instagram, Threads, and Twitter from my phone. I still have a Mastodon client on my phone because I enjoy using it. But I limit my time scrolling.

Of course, I still have Medium and Substack on my phone to read articles and posts while waiting in line at airports, coffee shops, and any other place where I have to wait for something for more than a few minutes. Usually, I only skim through content on the phone and bookmark interesting items for later … you know, for those lazy Sunday mornings when I have time to read and think.

Now, I’m generally an omnivore when it comes to reading. However, I’m also somewhat discerning and try to skip anything that looks a bit too formulaic. For example, when scrolling through Medium, one can easily spot the latest headline trends.

These trends seem to come in waves, and current favorites include headlines such as “X things I wish I knew before I did Y,” or “I did X for Y time, and here is what I learned,” and on and on. There seem to be fewer “Do X to earn Y money on platform Z” and fewer “X things you must do to be successful/happy/famous/whatever.” But I’m confident those will come back soon again — after all, those are true evergreen!

I’m sure we’ll need to be reminded at regular intervals that we cannot be successful unless we wake up at 3 a.m., only take ice-cold showers, and have ten side hustles, most of which somehow involve writing posts on various platforms, creating online courses, and self-publishing how-to books on the topic of becoming successful by taking cold showers … or something along those lines.

Maybe I’ve gotten better at finding more interesting, personal, and unique stories. Or perhaps these stories were always there but somehow got drowned out by all the listicles and me-too posts.

Whatever the reason, there seems to be tons more great content, and I love it! And yes, it appears the Medium algorithm is now somehow promoting better content over shovelware.

Of course, now I need more time to read. Maybe I should go ahead and cancel a few more of my social media accounts … that may free up a bit more time 😊

As a final note, let me share this: I use Obsidian as my digital notebook. And I have created a “To Read” note where I paste new links and bookmarks while reading or surfing on my devices.

There are probably a gazillion other ways to accomplish the same thing. Still, this method works well for me, especially since I can quickly add more notes, add tags, and create new, more in-depth notes in Obsidian when I finally have time to sit down and read.

Of course, then there are ever-growing stacks — plural! — of books on my nightstand that I still haven’t gotten to. But I will … soon. I promise! 😊