Technology Solutions for Everyday Folks

Analog Reading

I read and consume a lot of material every day. I love it, and I love how available this material can be to everyone (God Bless the Internet).

What I have been remarkably remiss at over the last year or so, though, is regular old analog reading. The stuff of books, that is.

Starting late last fall (2019, well before the current pandemic) I took some time here and there to work my way through some of Nick Offerman's books, "Gumption" and "Good Clean Fun." By last fall I'd already worked my way through "Paddle Your Own Canoe" which I thought was an exceptionally good read.

Not to turn this into a book review post, per se, but of the Offerman books I've consumed thus far, Gumption was definitely my least favorite of the bunch. That is not to say it wasn't worth my time, though—far from it. There's definitely good material there, but I just wasn't generally in the right mood/headspace to consume it. While I've finished it, this is definitely one of those books I'll probably have to circle back to in a few years.

Paddle Your Own Canoe was an excellent book, and definitely one reason we're going to (eventually) see Nick in a performance setting (assuming his tour is adequately rescheduled when this pandemic is in its later phases), but it was Good Clean Fun that really got me amp'd up to Make Things. And a contributing factor for me to eventually buy a band saw, but that's another topic on its own.

When I finished Good Clean Fun in mid-summer, I decided to go to my small pile of books received and not yet read. And I chose "Wit's End" by James Cleary as my next back deck read.

Wit's End turned out to be way more academic than I'd expected, but I really enjoyed it. It was awkward for me to read consecutive chapters as each was written in a different style, but in hindsight I also appreciate that it was done this way. With very casual reading, a chapter here and there, I was able to finish this book easily within a week and a half, and have walked away with a new appreciation for the literary and creative mechanics of wit, and in a weird way a better appreciation for my own talents.

Following Wit's End, I decided to "challenge" myself a bit and complete a recreational read within a weekend. Admittedly, an elongated weekend, but a weekend nonetheless.

And so I chose to continue by reading "Hit Refresh" by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. I'd bought the book nearly two years ago on the recommendation from peers in industry but hadn't yet opened it. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I also completed it in two days. Satya presents a lot of valid points and considerations for folks working in tech, and specifically tech leadership, but I really appreciated reading about the idea of a renaissance in connecting solutions with people and doing so with great empathy. As I'd taken an extended long labor day weekend holiday, it was the right read at the right time for me.

What's Next?

That's unclear as I write this. I'll take another analog-reading break for a short time, but I have a couple of more light-hearted, substantially less academic, books in the pile. Maybe by the time the holidays arrive I'll be back at a place where I can request a few more books as gifts.