Things making me smile/on my mind/causing distraction lately:
- I've been doing a lot of thinking about books lately. Namely, the fact that my reading list has burgeoned to nearly 150 titles, all added in the last couple of months, and that I've done a shamefully lax job checking them off. While I attribute that in large part to the fact that my days are, in general, much fuller here, I've also been a total social media fiend lately (stories forthcoming). This piece, about a guy who read 400 books in the last two years, was thought-provoking in its direct call-out of people like me who waste a ton of time on apps. While I still polish off around 10-12 books a month, it's crazy to think about how much more I could be doing.
(Related: this Atlantic piece about how smartphones are destroying today's teens was a lengthy but compelling read.)
- As far as reading goes, I started extremely young - I read the entirety of the "Little House on the Prairie" series in kindergarten, and graduated (rapidly and prematurely) to "Pride and Prejudice" and "Watership Down" in second grade and "War and Peace" in third. (For the record, do not recommend that course of action.) What I do recommend? Reading early and often with kids. Some of my happiest and earliest childhood memories are of reading in bed with my parents almost every night. With that in mind, I've decided my new go-to baby gift is membership in The Picture Book Club, which is, as far as I can tell, basically the Jelly of the Month club but for books. Sign me (and my hypothetical future progeny) up for the "Women Who Changed The World" subscription, please.
- I think the reason I read so much from a very early age is that I was a very well-socialized but equally introverted child. It's a topic that I've seen addressed a lot lately, most recently in this way-too-relatable post a friend shared on Facebook about characteristics of the type. I can't even begin to express how strongly I identified with most, if not all, of the outlined traits...to the point that, even as I write this, I'm re-reading the list and aggressively nodding along in my cube.
- In addition to reading literature that was targeted well above my age range, I also spent much of my childhood attending theatrical events and being exposed to classical music. I attribute my adult love of the arts entirely to my parents' focus on ensuring we were well-versed in that world from an early age - and that we knew how to behave there. This New York Times thought piece about children and their participation in the adult world of the arts could basically be a manifesto for how I intend to (someday, maybe) parent...just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting behind a family of five at the opera and listening to the youngest, who couldn't have been more than seven, discuss the very mature themes of Thaïs with her mom during intermission. SIGN ME UP.