Oh the Guilt! All the Books We Don't Read


| 4/20/2010 12:12:48 PM


The Atlantic Wire has been running a series of posts called “What I Read.” Often, the “media diets” of American writers and pundits are predictable. I suppose the latest offering from Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn is predictable too, but I like the way he framed it. I’ve grabbed the first and last paragraphs for you here. If you want to know more about Corn’s RSS feed, skip straight to the post.

Here’s how the day starts. I wake up. I complain I haven’t slept enough. I reach for the damn iPhone. I check email. I’m looking to see if there's any news I'll have to deal with that morning. And I’ll glance at Twitter to see if anything has happened in the minutes before I brush my teeth.

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Never before in the history of the known universe has there been so much information available to us humans. And never before has it been so difficult to process all the information we receive. Some consultant recently told me that the average American is bombarded with 4000 messages a day (fact-checkers, back me up on this.) Those of us who are informationalists—people who work with information professionally—must be assaulted more often. The toughest challenge, I find, is wading out of the cresting information river to experience media for frivolity’s sake or simply escaping the churning waters altogether for a few moments. If I manage to do either, it's usually after tending to the dishes in the kitchen late at night. Then I head to bed, look at that stack of books, feel a pang of guilt, and shut out the light. I do miss reading. Nowadays, we absorb.

Source: Atlantic Wire





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