Ok, this may be a little over the top. I've not actually forgotten otherwise I wouldn't be able to write this post now. However a couple of months ago I realised that no written word could hold my attention for more than a few minutes. It used to be that I could sit and read a book for hours upon end, both fiction and non-fiction. I haven't read a book or manual in a while and I seem to have gotten out of the habit.
So why has this happened?
I'm not sure really but I can speculate as to the cause. Last year I took out a subscription to Netflix. This lead me to marathon watching boxsets on an eventing and before going to sleep. Instead of reading books. With technical and software books my reading habits have changed as well. Whereas I used to read books for information now I find myself turning more and more to blog posts and video tutorials as a quicker way to digest new ideas.
Does it matter?
If I never read a fictional book again will it affect me? Probably. I'm a firm believer that reading helps people improve their communication skills. This is an important skill to have, especially in the development world where concepts and problems are hard to discuss. Even more so when talking to non-technicals and managers.
What about learning new development skills? Do I need to read books to garner the information? In this case I would argue that some topics are better taught by short blog posts and videos. However, there is something about reading a book that focuses the mind. Sat in a room with no distractions such as social media, news and the like.
Reading a book means that you can focus purely on the topic you are reading about. So in that respect reading a book can be a better way of learning.
What am I going to do/doing about it?
It looks like I'm going to have to do this the hard way force myself to start reading books again. I'm going to leave my phone in another room whilst I retire for the night, which is probably no bad thing. I will then force myself to read for at least 20 min before sleeping.
Hopefully overtime I will be able to increase this until it becomes more natural to read again.
What about you lot?
- I'm curious to hear how many books you read?
- Do you think technical books are outdated and blogs/videos are better?
- Have you found yourself struggling to read given the amount of other ways there are to entertain yourself now?