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Carrying a book everywhere


This is going to be a rambling, round about, nothing in particular conversation between me and my future self, looking back. I do this every once in a while. You're invited to listen in. Hi, Kitt!

So, I've been working on my life goals this year. In particular, moving them from vague, hand-wavy goals like "read more" and "travel more" and "be successful" into concrete, measurable goals like "read 52 books in a year", and "establish a baseline of how much I travel so that I can measure 'more'," and "dump stuff on the website at least twice a week." So far, having them measurable means I'm moving towards them, which is great.

As part of "reading more," I have returned to carrying a book around with me everywhere, because you never know when you'll have a few minutes to read (and you can't read if you don't have a book). Of course, I do have my phone that I can read on, I have a number of books on the phone, ready for reading. Yes, I read physical books if I have the chance. I LIKE physical books. I like paper. I like the feel of them, the touch of them, the clarity of them. It's a different mental space reading from a dead tree than from an electron being shot into my eyeball. So, yeah, I carry books around with me when I can:

To my surprise, when I thought about mentioning how I've reverted back to my habit of carrying a book with me everywhere, I searched for the post I was certain I had written, about my college interview. I had walked into the counsellor's office where the interviews were being held, book in hand, and sat down to wait. When the guy interviewing me opened the door and saw me, he laughed. I asked why. He told me that Mr. Dukerich had told him I'd arrive at the interview with a book in hand, I always had a book in hand everywhere I went. Sure enough, I had the book in hand. I vaguely recall it being Atlas Shrugged, but I could be mis-remembering that detail.

Turns out, I hadn't written that post. Go fig. A memory I hadn't talked about yet. Either that, or my search engine on this site sucks. Or maybe I didn't mention Caltech in the post, so I looked for the wrong terms. Whatever the reason is, yeah, here's the memory to write about written. Go me.

Contributing heavily to my newly-returned book-in-hand habit is work's lending library, where employees are allowed to take books from the library to read, and later return the book if they don't want to keep it, or keep the book if they want to keep it. I love this idea. Many of the books are business books, some are inspirational books. It's a great idea for a library, and encourages coworkers to read the books that someone has found inspirational or informative in some way. I'm not yet sure if I'll be able to pick a book for said library, but I'm hoping I will be able to do soon.

My backpack is a little heavier with the extra book in it, which is problematic on days I need to walk somewhere other than the bus stop. My backpack is still too heavy with two laptops, a kabillion notebooks and enough cords and "just in case" items to choke an elephant six times over. I swear, I'm going to have crushed vertebrae discs because of my backpack weight, instead of the amazingly strong back that I think I'm keeping by lugging all this stuff around. If my next book is an ebook, I'll stick to the phone.

Otherwise, book in hand.

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