I have Facebook, foursquare and TweetDeck apps on my IPhone. I’ve loaded more than 48 hours of music on my IPod. I Skype with my son and daughter-in-law in China. I dabble in online investing, and book all my travel arrangements online. I have more passwords than July has days. I’m forever Googling this or that. I’ve blogged twice a week for 11 months.
But I can’t help myself: I still print out the things that really interest me; I still spend ten hours reading the magazines and newspapers I’m holding for every one hour of reading online; and I still buy books – lots of them – and wear them out.
My wife dislikes reading a book after I have. This is because I circle the words I don’t know, underline the ideas I want to remember and jot notes in the margins where the ideas have provoked me to consider future applications.
When I was a kid my mother commented that I made everything a contact sport; but she had to pay me to read books. Now I read books like it’s a contact sport.
If you can find a little time for yourself this summer – some time to feed your mind and soul through reading – here are two fistfuls of titles I recommend for a “full contact” experience:
• The Brothers K (1992) by David James Duncan
• Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
• Run (2007) by Ann Patchett
• South of Broad (2009) by Pat Conroy
• Prodigal Summer (2000) by Barbara Kingsolver
• The Disuniting of America – Reflections on a Multi-Cultural Society (1991) by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
• John Adams (Simon & Schuster, 2001) by David McCullough
• Leadership on the Line – Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading (2002)
by Ronald L. Heifetz and Marty Linsky
• Better – A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance (2007) by Dr. Atul Gawande
• The Botany of Desire – A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001) by Michael Pollan
There are many more titles just as good that I could suggest; but I would rather learn what your recommendations might be. So please use the comment space below to recommend good reading.