Newsletter: ‘I have forgotten how to read’ 📖

via giphy

Below are some links worth reading this week along with some art and podcasts recommendations after the jump.

Interesting Reads

I have forgotten how to read. Reading online is much harder than reading a book, not only because of the multitude of distractions (text messages, notifications etc) but also because of the tendency to share for immediate gratification. Writes author and journalist Michael Harris: “Online life makes me into a different kind of reader – a cynical one. I scrounge, now, for the useful fact; I zero in on the shareable link. My attention – and thus my experience – fractures. Online reading is about clicks, and comments, and points. When I take that mindset and try to apply it to a beaten-up paperback, my mind bucks.”

How to Manage Stress Like an Olympic Biathlete. The mental game is just as important as the physical one. Focusing on process rather than pursuit may give you a better chance at achieving victory. Says Olympic biathlete Clare Egan: “‘If I hit this, I’ll win the gold medal’ — as soon as you have that thought, you’re definitely going to miss it. That extra push or desire to win is not only not helpful, it’s counterproductive. You have to eliminate that from your mind and focus on the task.”

The Case for Self-Promotion. When it comes to sharing your work, what's the right balance between pompousness and modesty? Columnist Courtney Marting explains the paradox for On Being: “It’s a total catch-22: if you don’t self-promote, you won’t be known to those who hold the keys to whatever kingdom you’re interested in unlocking. If you do self-promote, you might catch the gatekeepers’ attention, but pray they don’t read your self-promotion as needy or navel-gazing.”

An effortless way to improve your memory. Want to remember more of what you read? Give your brain a 10-15 minute rest. No phones, no distractions, just pure boredom, a quiet room and dimmed lights. “Baguley and Horner both agree that scheduling regular periods of rest, without distraction, could help us all hold onto new material a little more firmly.”

Thought of the week

“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question.”

— Jean-Luc Godard

Other Recommendations


Kasamatsu Shiro (1898 – 1991)

(via @Oniropolis)



The World As I See It by Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”


“We were born here,” Frederick Douglas said in response to those like Abraham Lincoln who wanted free slaves to settle outside America, “and here we will remain.”

Listen to Frederick Douglass on In Our Time

Thanks for reading. If you found any of the above useful or interesting, I'd appreciate it if you shared this post with friends.

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Published by Wells Baum

A daily blogger who connects the dots between arts and life.

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