Thursday, April 22, 2010

Types of Reading

Different types of reading I do, from best to worst:

1. Reading a novel for fun.  

A good novel is so engrossing, so wonderful.  When I put one down, I really feel like I'm leaving a physical (and temporal) place.

2. Reading a nonfiction book for fun.

Here, and with the novels as well, I only mean books that I actually like, not any random nonfiction book.  There are lots of cool nonfiction books out there (I tend towards the ones about physics or math), but they don't usually have the plot urgency of novels that makes reading them feel like a compulsion.  Also in this category are cookbooks.  I love to read cookbooks while I eat, I don't know why.

3. Reading an article/blog post online

I learn a lot of cool stuff on the internet: what are some good independent films, how to feel more peaceful (one tip I keep reading is to always make your bed), what it's like having a child with autism, how it feels to live in China as an American, etc.  

4. Reading info online

This takes up a lot of my time.  By "info" I mean getting movie times, responding to student emails, searching for a house to rent on craigslist, learning how to conjugate "to bark" in Dutch, etc.  All important stuff, some of it absolutely necessary, but it fills up hours quickly - and it's not exactly fun.

5. Reading comments on articles online

The intelligence signal-to-noise ratio is pretty low on this one.  Is the best use of my time really reading what some random teenager thinks of Transformers 2, or what some random woman thinks Prudie should have said in her advice to the sister of the bride?  No, it really isn't.  And yet a disturbing amount of my time gets sucked up in that fashion.

My goal? For one week, starting tomorrow, I'm going to track how much I read (and correspond - so if I am posting a blog entry or writing back to a student, that counts), and what category that reading falls into.  Then I'll make up a nice excel pie chart or something, and display it - most likely so we can all be horrified that I somehow manage to spend 25 hours a day reading old movie reviews on The AVClub...

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