It has not been an easy year. I think November 2016 hit a lot of us like a ton of bricks. I personally had been listening to every political podcast I could get my hands on leading up to the election – like it might make some difference. This year I had to step away. Sure, I still listen to my daily news podcasts (shout out to the good Rachel Maddow, Marketplace, and NPR Hourly for my morning fix) but the rest of my time has been a full immersion into books.
I’ve taken a step back from following all the podcasts I’d been listening to, for obvious reasons. I have the 3 I listen to, to keep up with the news… And that’s it. At a certain point, reading more news stories will only make me less effective. In 2015 I set out to read a book a week, and ended up reading 83 books. In order to keep my sanity, I plan to attempt this project again this year.
On April 8, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit”, which was to climax in a literary purge or “cleansing” by fire. On May 10, 1933, Nazi Germany staged an event unseen since the middle ages young German students from universities, which formerly had been regarded as among the finest in the world, gathered to burn over 25k books.
The Iliad reads like a soccer match... if all the gods that are prayed to during the match actually were real, and cared. — Jack Reichert (@JackReichert) May 6, 2016 The literature of humanity that has stayed with us taps into the deepest part of how we perceive our existence. The stories that our ancestors have crafted and passed down to us resonated with them. The stories that made it down to us, made it through the filter of time because those stories said something important to each link the the chain from then until now.
A little over a year ago I embarked on a journey. I noticed that I was listening to a LOT of podcasts: on my commute, at work, on the treadmill, cooking. I really couldn’t stop. What made me notice the frequency was the fact that I had finished the backlog of This Week in Startups and saw that I had a lot of empty time… So I decided to try Audible and began eating up books like they were candy, well, now I think they are - which is nice.
I’m a proud husband, what can I say. I know on this blog I don’t normally stray from my usual topics about tech, and development. But I would be amiss if I did not mention this huge event in our life. So I hope you’ll forgive this digression. I’m a not-so-closet geek complete with a love for fantasy. The first “grown-up” book I read myself was The Blue Sword, my oldest sister had started reading it to me, but I couldn’t wait for her to continue and I finished it myself.