4 Books I Grazed This Month
a reading round-up for information snackers featuring: healthism, scientism, burnout, and the question of humanity in AI
The other week Sarah Lewis and I were talking about our least favorite advice for writers, and I brought up the idea that you have to read a book from cover to cover. Sarah called herself “a real grazer” of information, and that really got stuck in my head. Like it or not, the internet has made information grazers of us all, and accepting that actually helps me read more — I feel less shame about not finishing books and as a result, less hesitant to open a new one.
There is a bit of a method to my grazing madness. It only applies to non-fiction, because I actually do think it’s necessary to get to the end of a story in order to understand it fully (you know, there’s arcs and shit). But there’s a pattern to the way most non-fiction books are structured that makes it pretty easy to read them in a non-linear way.
The introduction is the set-up and thesis, and the last chapter rounds up all the main points again, so if you read those and then whatever chapters in between are most interesting, you’ve got the gist of the book without having to read every single word in it.
I’ve been grazing a lot in health and science to build the dopamine mythos out into a larger project, the end result of which I haven’t decided on yet (a book? a series of video essays?) but I’d like to take you along as I figure it out, so here’s some of the most interesting stuff I’ve found in my reading lately for your info-snacking pleasure.