The Read Pile – An Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anyone on my current reading list or “the read pile” as I call it so here’s a picture of what I was reading back in May:

My read pile in late May.

My Reading Progress

The good news is that I’ve made some progress and have been finding more time for reading each day. Admittedly, sometimes it’s in the bathroom and almost always just before I fall asleep – I’m sure many of you understand. But in the past couple of months I managed to finish:

  • The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green – an interesting read and easy to read in bed as each chapter was short.
  • So You Want to Start a Podcast by Kristen Meinzer – an excellent book on podcasting and what makes a successful podcast.
  • Podcasting for Dummies by Tee Morris and Chuck Tomasi – more of a “nuts and bolts” book on the mechanics of podcasting.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon – a little difficult to read because of it’s format, but very worthwhile.
  • Without Ever Reaching the Summit by Paolo Cognetti – a contemplative trip through the Himalayas.
  • A stack of National Geographic magazines dating back a year through last month – these constituted most of my bathroom reading to be honest.
  • Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg – a harrowing true life tale of survival in the jungles of South America.

I ended up putting aside The YouTube Formula for now. I’m still interested in YouTube but podcasting has my attention at the moment and there’s only so much time in a day. However, I finally got my Ricoh WG-M1 Adventure Camera set up so there may be a few more hikes put up on my YouTube channel before too long.

My Reading Plan

In my current read pile you’ll notice that I’ve added a couple books which are in preparation for my trip to Egypt this October. Luxor Illustrated, is mostly pictures so that will be finished quickly. The same goes for Candy and Designing Disney. I’m reading Don’t Burp in the Boardroom at bedtime since it’s relatively light fare for management style books. I love Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series, which all take place in USA National Parks. But, if I’m honest with myself this one may not get read until I board the plane for Egypt in October. I forgot how much reading I used to get done on airplanes during the pandemic.

My read pile today. I’m making some progress.

Suggestions Please

Since I do have a couple long international flights coming up in just a couple months now I’d love suggestions of some good fiction to read from everyone else. What are you reading that you think I might enjoy?

My taste are eclectic or at least I imagine they are so nothing is off limits!

All photos by David P. Wahr unless otherwise noted.
Photos and words @copyright David P. Wahr

Why Reading is Still Fundamental

I find it ironic that by most standards literacy rates are at a world-wide high, but that interest in reading for pleasure or self-improvement still seems to be unpopular. I get it, so much of social media is visually oriented. Need to learn a new skill? Go to YouTube. Want to see pictures of cats? Instagram. Ideas to decorate your living room? Pinterest. Looking to waste an afternoon on mindless videos? Tik Tok. And so on and so forth. Heck, I haven’t even gotten to more traditional forms of entertainment like movies and television (cable, streaming, or otherwise).

I think that in a world with so many options for entertainment and information it’s easy to forget that reading is still fundamental. But I think it’s more crucial than ever and that our collective success depends on it. Here are a few reasons why…

Reading is Active

Read for pleasure.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

With visual mediums you are essentially a passive observer to the action. You sit there and take it all in. No effort is made on your part but to react. With reading you need to use your imagination. There are no sets, no drawings, no one showing you how it’s done. You have to create all the images in your head. And, bonus, reading fiction in particular makes you a kinder person by developing your ability to empathize and identify with other people.

Reading is Personalized

Unlike other mediums you read at your own pace. If you come across a passage that confuses you it’s okay. You can put the book, tablet, phone, or whatever down and think about what you’ve just read. You have time to think without affecting the overall experience. Pause a video too many times and you actually lose track of what’s going because pacing is part of the experience.

Reading Makes You Healthier

Read for others.

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Type in “advantages of reading” or “benefits of reading” into your favorite web search engine and you’ll find that various studies show there are actual physical and mental health benefits to reading, including but not limited to:

  • improving brain connectivity.
  • reducing stress.
  • lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
  • fighting depression symptoms.
  • preventing cognitive decline as you age.

And, bonus, reading makes you smarter too!

Reading Will Help You Get Ahead Professionally

Read to learn.

Photo by Rheyan Glenn Dela Cruz Manggob on Pexels.com

It’s true that you might find how to do some specific task through videos – I myself have used YouTube to get a quick refresher on how to create an Excel spreadsheet formula for example – but if you want ideas I think you want to read. Trade magazines, articles on subjects that interest you, books about a wide variety of topics, even fiction. You never know where that next brilliant idea is going to come from. My bookshelf is full or books that are business and customer service oriented.

One of my bookshelves – the black bar is a shelf support, not a book that’s blotted out.

What Should You Read?

The simple answer to this question is read whatever strikes your fancy at the moment. The beauty of reading is that it really doesn’t matter what you read. As I mention in the paragraph above, I personally think that everyone should read a wide variety of items. Currently in my “to read pile” I have a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, religious, comic, and professional development books.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer paper, which is my medium of choice, or a tablet. It doesn’t matter if you buy the book or get it from the library (one of our greatest underutilized resources). Just pick a few things out that interest you and get to reading!

My current read pile. Since taking this picture last week I have finished Jungle, The Anthropocene Reviewed, and Podcasting for Dummies.

All photos by David P. Wahr unless otherwise noted.
Photos and words @copyright David P. Wahr