When it comes to making a choice, I've been choosing articles and podcasts over a book because at the end of the said time, I'd know quite a bit about a lot more topics than a lot more about just one topic. And the advantage with these new media outlets is that most of the time they're dealing with trendy topics - be it the Toyota recall or Tiger Woods or the dysfunctional nature of U.S political culture - in addition to being in the know, they also contribute for a good lunch time chatter.
This instant gratification has come at a cost. Reading books was one of the main instigators of my thirst for knowledge. That cannot be comprehensively quenched by what is comparably a twitter feed to a New Yorker article. A great book does great service to the mind. I have a huge list of books in my wish list and I just realized the pointlessness of it. To think that that would always be my wish list instead of serving in my knowledge arsenal is so depressing.
So today I'm making a public promise of sorts to read at least a book a month, and provide a decent... I don't want to call it a review... but what I take home from the book. As with movies, I will not sit through something if I think it will not be worth my time. To begin with I'll try Fooled By Randomness by Taleb. I've tried his much acclaimed Black Swan and I found his tone a bit domineering and preachy. Irritated, I closed the book. Since then I've heard the title referenced at many places by people I respect. As I decided to reopen, I was told to reach for his first book and the Swan would just start flowing easily from FBR.
Part of making this book-reading an announcement is to apply that extra pressure on myself so that I cut down on some of my useless browsing. Any of my three loyal readers can feel free to ask for updates after a month. So, here's to re-establishing my dying habit.