Featured Fun Lifestyle

How to read more books

Replied to 8 Ways to Read a Lot More Books (

I read a lot of books. I agree with several of this author’s suggestions for reading more*:

  • Quit more books, earlier
  • Make your space comfortable for reading, and set it up to encourage you to read books over other activities
  • Always be bringing in new books and cycling out others
  • Track your reading

But I think he forgot an important thing: you should read books you actually enjoy. Reading will become much easier when you recognize that not everyone’s reading tastes will match yours — even your family and friends. Just because someone recommends a book directly to you doesn’t mean you’ll like it, or even that you have to try it. Just because a book is on a “best of” list doesn’t mean it’ll be meaningful to you.

Don’t treat reading as a chore, the brain equivalent of eating your spinach. Honor your own interests and read at whim, for pleasure. That means you need to learn to know yourself as a reader. The more you read, the better you’ll learn your own tastes, so you can choose books you’ll enjoy in the future and feel confident about quitting books you don’t.

*And if if turns out you’re actually not that into books as a storytelling medium, that’s totally fine too! There is nothing inherently virtuous about reading books versus watching video or listening to podcasts. If what you’re worried about is your ability to pay attention to long-form storytelling, you don’t have to win back your attention through books.

Lifestyle Mental Health

Keep a “savor list”

Liked The science (and skill) of actually enjoying your life – Chris Bailey (

The definition is in the name: on this list is everything you like to regularly savor—from fancy take-out lattes, to time with your kids, to wine-fueled board game nights with your spouse.

I like this framing — savoring — rather than the idea of rewarding myself, because I don’t want to withhold nice things from myself. Other people can buy a cookie as motivation to write, but I just eat the cookie immediately 😂 I’m already hard enough on myself in many ways. Giving myself simple pleasures should be just that: a pleasure, not an incentive. I don’t want to tie my happiness to productivity — I’m trying to extricate myself from that mindset.

Lifestyle Personal Growth

Why are you speeding?

Liked And then? by Alan Jacobs (

My question about all this is: And then? You rush through the writing, the researching, the watching, the listening, you’re done with it, you get it behind you — and what is in front of you?

The whole attitude seems to be: Let me get through this thing I don’t especially enjoy so I can do another thing just like it, which I won’t enjoy either. This is precisely what Paul Virilio means when he talks about living at a “frenetic standstill”…

I also get the urge to push through and finish things for the sake of finishing them, but I try not to yield to it; I want to separate my personal pleasures from the accomplishment mindset.

It’s hard to be patient in an accelerating, sense-stunning culture, with our media becoming faster paced and our attention withering as writing gets shorter and pithier and video and audio replace writing.

I think growing our patience and resisting instant gratification are more ways to reclaim our lives from capitalism. Accepting some friction if that means interacting with other humans instead of using technological replacements or supporting companies designed to eliminate humans. Investing time in looking for interesting things on my own and experimenting with media I might not like instead of accepting ‘good enough’ stuff fed to me by the algorithm.

See also:

Read Rest is Resistance

Time is a Tool of Capitalism

Mechanical Time vs Body Time

Wonderful Wasted Time


Read at Whim

Liked Read at Whim! by Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

Reminding myself how I want to read

I needed this reminder – I feel like I’ve been trying to push myself to read more fiction beyond romance lately and I’m just not feeling it. I was slogging through Matrix which I saw many people recommend, and mentioned to my husband that I could only handle reading for twenty or thirty minutes at a time, is that how most people read? I prefer the immersive dive in and read a book in one sitting approach, five hours at a go. He was like, so why are you still reading it? Good looking out husband. Too many books to waste my relaxation time reading stuff that’s not for me. I’m usually a quit early and often type but have been trying too hard to give books a chance. If I don’t like it at 20% the odds I’ll like it better at 50% seem slim.

I like this idea of being whimsical about what to read next. I get a lot of my books from the library so it can be hard to be whimsical about what to read when there’s a two month waiting list on what I want to read and the book I wanted to read two months ago is finally available 😉 I’ve been trying to be more playful and experimental with Kindle Unlimited books, and sometimes read something without even looking at the reviews 😳 Tbh a lot of my reading list is just following on with whatever KJ Charles has read recently since I follow her on Goodreads and her taste seems to match mine well 🤷‍♀️


Value measured in pleasure, not just profit

Quoted With UBI, won’t people just watch TV and play video games? by Scott Santens (

With UBI, won’t people just watch TV and play video games? – The Tarantino Argument for Unconditional Basic Income

Whatever merit there may be in the production of goods must be entirely derivative from the advantage to be obtained by consuming them. The individual, in our society, works for profit; but the social purpose of his work lies in the consumption of what he produces… We think too much of production, and too little of consumption. One result is that we attach too little importance to enjoyment and simple happiness, and that we do not judge production by the pleasure that it gives to the consumer.

— Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness


Listened to Frugal Hedonism Podcast

Listened Annie Raser Rowland on frugal hedonism and living more creatively with less by Madeleine Dore from Routines and Ruts podcast

Artist, horticulturist and author Annie Raser Rowland shares how spending less can enliven us to a magnificent spectrum of pleasures.

  • “Getting” feeling really satisfying for people, find ways besides consumerism to fill that need, like learning something or getting a new story
  • Offer up cheap alternatives as ways to gather, like watching the sunset or grabbing snacks and walking around instead of dinner at a pricey restaurant
  • Pick a high target for what proportion of things you buy used versus new, like 95%, so most of the time you won’t even consider new an option [side note: I’ve found it much harder to get used items during the pandemic since I don’t want to browse and shipping often makes vintage unreasonable]
  • Pay close attention to the urge to treat yourself, and how much you rely on money to make yourself feel better
  • Don’t think of days with lots of admin and adulting and crap you wish you didn’t have to do as days to get through to “real life” – seek out the flavor of life even during these less than ideal days, like through noticing details and sensory experience

Adult Hobbies

Replied to what a hobby feels like by Anne Helen Petersen (Culture Study)

Races like the Ragnar are often conceived of as “stuff (bourgeois) white people like”: paying for the privilege to exhaust yourself. And I don’t disagree. But I think the motivating factor is perhaps more the “bourgeois” more than the whiteness, and probably has even more to do with a certain type of work/lifestyle. People within this realm work so much — and, depending on age, have so many obligations towards their families — that they have to formalize and extremetize leisure in order to rationalize seeking it. It has to involve consumption in some way (buy this running Camelbak!), and planning / long-term commitment (you sign up months before), societal buy-in (knowledge that this is a cool thing that you are doing), and secondary optimization (exercise). Then you can give yourself permission to spend 48 hours doing something exclusively for yourself and your suffering-and-survival as enjoyment.

It didn’t feel like a choice, it just felt like a natural gravity.

To me, that’s what I think a real hobby feels like. Not something you feel like you’re choosing, or scheduling — not a hassle, or something you resent or feel bad about when you don’t do it.

The truth is, it’s really really hard to start a hobby as an adult — it feels unnatural, or forced, or performative…It’s also hard when the messages about what you should be doing with your leisure time are so incredibly contradictory.

But I grew up in a place, and a time, where hobbies — activities that had no place on your resume, no function in getting you into a better school — were still commonplace. Amongst the bourgeois American middle class, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Old Millennials were the last to experience this attitude towards activities and leisure…It’s weird to think of yourself as privileged to know what you like.

I can feel this. I have dabbled in hobbies over the years and have a hard time divorcing myself from a productivity mindset. Even if I enjoy an activity it’s hard to make myself do it.

This year I’ve played some with block printing. It’s easier to get myself to do something for other people (don’t want to get into *that* here though) and making art for other people gives me an excuse to actually make art. I’m all about tricking my brain if needed. I tried on puzzles for size but they seem to be something I only enjoy a few times a year.

Growing up, my parents had hobbies that they seemed to do pretty regularly. My dad is a woodworker and my mom is a sewer. I’m not a handy person but when I first got out of college pursued jewelry making (setting myself up with an obligatory Etsy shop). I did it a fair bit (and dumped a lot of money into supplies), enough to realize all the reasons I didn’t like it all that well. I used to play sax, but without a band to play in I’m not that into it. Writing has been a hobby that I’m also trying to treat less like a hobby and more like a profession.

I suppose blogging is the closest thing I have to an ongoing long-term hobby. Tied in with that are my dabbling efforts at joining the Indie Web. It’s actually helpful to think of it as a new hobby I’m getting into, an offshoot of blogging and hosting my own websites.

Personal Growth

Being OK with OK

Quoted The Life-Changing Magic of Ignoring the Ratings by Brendan Leonard (Outside Magazine)

When you go into something thinking it will be a five-star experience, are you setting yourself up for disappointment? I think so.

I wouldn’t turn down a day on any of the “Best Hikes Ever,” but there are only so many of those, and I’ve had a lot of days—actually, no, the majority of my best days—on trails that don’t ever make anyone’s list and don’t get rated on TripAdvisor.

I think that’s what I like so much about the idea of No-Star Tuesdays—something that requires creativity and imagination, instead of just checking a “best of” list, and also says, “We can have fun doing anything.”

— Brendan Leonard

I feel like I fall into the trap when traveling of needing to find an awesome restaurant and a great hotel and the best itinerary — and then when I don’t I feel disappointed or guilty that I’ve squandered the opportunity. Traveling is hard because you only have a limited time to be there, a limited number of meals to eat and nights to sleep. I’m drawn to this perspective of being ok with whatever you get, and sometimes saying screw the research. I’ve been working on doing less research for most purchases, but experiences are tougher, because I have also experienced the other way and gone somewhere and actually missed out on things because I didn’t do enough research.