I don’t have anywhere near as much time to read for pleasure as I would like – except when I am at the beach. You can get through a lot of pages in those daily 12 hours.
When I am on vacation I usually get to the beach (weather permitting) just after 6 a.m. I am an early riser no matter where I am. I usually stay on the beach until sometime after 7 p.m., taking short breaks for obvious reasons. If I am not in the ocean I am reading.
Usually I read novels, primarily mysteries, a nice way to de-stress and get lost in another world. I do try to balance that with some non-fiction, usually biographies, so that not everything I read is mindless entertainment. The local library allows me to take books out for a small fee, and there is a much smaller waiting list for bestsellers than in Ottawa.
Sometimes though the mindless reading is less than mindless. Yesterday I was reading Daniel Silva’s novel The Heist and came across this:
It seems difficult to imagine, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share their every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers. Id one went to a shopping mall to purchase an article of clothing, one did not post minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and if one made a fool of oneself at a party, one did not leave a photographic record of the sorry episode in a digital scrapbook that would survive for all eternity. But now, in the era of loss of inhibition, it seemed no detail of life was too mundane or humiliating to share. In the online age, it was more important to live out loud than to live with dignity. Internet followers were more treasured than flesh-and-blood friends, for they held the illusive promise of celebrity, even immortality. Were Descartes alive today, he might have written: I tweet, therefore I am.
I wish I had written those lines. I have expressed similar sentiments in conversations with friends and acquaintances when discussing the impact of technology on society and the loss of real community. Maybe we can have a discussion here from time to time on the subject, though it does seem like a strange forum for such a discussion.
As for me, I opened a Twitter account a few years ago, to use for business not to update people on what I had for lunch. I keep forgetting about it, which means all that is usually in y twitter feed is this blog which gets posted automatically. If I forget to tweet, does that mean I am not?