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In 2021, I read 12 books. In 2022, I’ve well exceeded 365.
When I tell people that my reading increased 2,941.67% this year, their first response is usually to ask me how, as if I could slip them a pill or offer them some glib advice about the moral imperative to log off.
As I’ve written in the past, the secret for turning an internet-brained person like myself into a reader is the constant trickery of replacing one compulsion with another. I’m an internet culture reporter, for goodness’ sake, and detangling the latest online discourse is my full-time job. I’ve just managed to send my brain worms burrowing in a deceptively productive direction.
I wake up early to read. During my lunch break, I read. I get off work before most other people, so I have time to read before I hang out with them. I read before bed, and then I fall asleep watching videos about books so I’ll know what I want to read the next day. When I first broke this down for my best friend, she asked if I ever give my brain a chance to just sit there and rest. The answer is no. I prefer for my brain to be filled with chatter at all times, like so many of my peers who grew up with internet access. My chatter is just Instagrammable.
Rather than fixating on how you can hack your life to become an Olympic book marathoner like some kind of Silicon Valley self-help monster, I’m just going to tell you what I actually enjoyed. I am what the online book community calls a “mood reader” — I read so fast because I pick up books that fit my exact fancy for the moment, and I must finish them before said mood dissipates.
Rather than just telling you about the 50 books I gave a perfect 5-star rating to this year, I’m going to recommend some of my favorite novels I’ve read recently based on the extremely specific mood I was in when I read them.