I Must Read More!

As in books, actual books.

Last year I had the big realisation that with twenty plus years of active engagement with the Internet,  from first through getting access via work, then having a fifteen-year career in web development, my reading of books, and I include graphic novels and comics in this, has dwindled to nought.  If I want to engage with the world of ideas and stories, the internet is now all persuasive (with broadband and mobile 4G) and much more. So its instant on-demand, pop-corn-sugar coated. Is it satisfying?

Meanwhile, I’ve carried on buying stuff, so my office is now full of boxes filled with books of all shapes and sizes and format. My internet dependence grew, checking Twitter, Farcebook and a couple of news web sites hourly. As 2020 came to an end with the shitshow of Brexit and Covid 19 reaching dizzying heights, I realised that the way internet search engine algorithms work. In that, they channel you towards stuff you’ve already read (reinforcement) and also away from a diversity of results towards those with the highest ‘ranking on a subject’ (popularity). The last realisation shocked me. Back in 1999, when I was new to the wonders of the web, I would regularly do web searches and get a wonderful array of sites. Now it’s one or two that are being self-referenced by other sites.  I could form a very Orwellian view of the world from this, but I chose not to. Time to give up my dependence on the WWW, and get back to being a book worm. Also, choose different, more positive sources of news than I’ve been reading previously.

I’m going to be recording what I read here primarily since it’s not been getting much love recently, and ironically its a record of my internet usage all the way back to 1999. It’s easily linkable via Twitter/Farcebook for friends who keep track of me there, and heck if I become master of the mini-review I can even cut and paste it into good-reads and other review sites.

I’ve even created a new category the rather grandly titled “Tales from the Green Chair” because its the best place for me to read in the house. Quiet in the office, well lit, the only problem is perhaps from time to time I may have to evict our Milly cat 🙂

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