If you’ve seen the new site design (if you read in a reader or over email, click over to the full site to see what I mean), you may have wondered at the new subtitle, “Building a Bookmarked Life.”
Writing book reviews here is one way that I process the books I read, and really take the information I learn into my life–whether it’s a life tip from a non-fiction book or a better understanding of a culture or time period from a piece of fiction. I don’t just want to read for diversion–although certainly reading is a worthy leisure activity purely on its own merits!–I want to be changed and challenged by the books I read.
As our culture becomes more and more geared toward quick hit information, I think it’s getting harder to really interact with ideas unless you’re careful to keep up your ability to interact with longer arguments and deeper stories. I’m not satisfied with superficial “three ways to revolutionize your productivity by Tuesday” type articles or 30 second clips purporting to explain global issues. I don’t think other people are ok with it either.
But how can we fit in what Plato called “the examined life?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time to sit around contemplating my navel. Life is full and moves at a fast pace. I get that–I have four kids, I homeschool, I have a job, I keep this blog and a few other personal writing projects on the side…and I know some of you are way more busy–but I think that makes it even more important not to skate by on the surface of life. I’d love to spend hours a day reading, but even though I don’t have that kind of time in this phase of my life, I pick up a book when I can and consider what I’ve learned as I go about my day. What I make time to read has changed me and has had a profound impact on the way I do all of life.
The bookmarked life is about carving out time–whether long chunks or a few moments here and there–to read more deeply, to think about ideas more carefully, and to let what you read impact you and make your life richer. It may seem like we can’t afford to make time for that, but I sort of think we can’t afford not to.