Physical Books Weigh Down Reading

I gave a speech tonight at my Toastmasters club about the revolution in reading. One thing that I’ve realized lately is how much the physicality of real books has kept me from buying and reading more. Even though it’s in keeping with the minimalism tenet that the things you own end up owning you, and I realized it applied to my books before, I never realized it affected my reading before. When I considered it tonight, I realized that before I buy a physical book, I have to consider whether I’m willing to commit to making space for it, and dusting it, and moving it, and moving it, and so on. More and more, I’m unwilling to add to my material possessions, and so more and more, I’ve read less and less.

With e-books, I’m freed of the commitment of time and space and energy that physical books demand, so I’m able to explore more, acquire more, and read more. And it’s not just theory, it’s happening in practice. Weird, I didn’t see that one coming. Perhaps that’s another reason why e-books are taking off so well, much more quickly than anyone thought they would.

My speech didn’t go as well as it could have, mostly because I kept rewriting it right up to the point of delivery, but ultimately it was good practice, which is the point of Toastmasters anyway. Now, I’m back to reading, and writing.