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Reading Books in an Online World

Do you know Aziz Ansari? He’s an actor and comedian, and I recently heard part of an interview with him on NPR. His quote here stuck with me:

“And I just read the Internet. Constantly. And hear about who said a racial slur or look at a photo of what Ludacris did last weekend. You know, just useless stuff. It’s like, I read the Internet so much I feel like I’m on page a million of the worst book ever. And I just won’t stop reading it. For some reason it’s so addictive.”

I laughed out loud at his book analogy, but in reality, it’s true for me too. The time I spend on my phone or laptop far outweighs what I’d like it to be. And although it’s often to complete my to-do list, it’s so easy to spend an extra 15, or 30 minutes browsing the news feeds of whatever social media channel I gravitate toward first. Especially when there’s something I’m procrastinating doing (and when isn’t there?).

I have a bookshelf full of books I want to read, and somehow, I often make the decision to check one more thing – which turns into 10 more things – and the small amount of time I’ve set aside for reading disappears.

A confession: I just finished a book I’ve been reading since April. How on Earth that is possible, I have no idea. It was a long book – Outlander was the name (you may know it from the TV series) – but there’s still no excuse. I guess when the accountability of my monthly book club in Sweden wasn’t a factor, I lagged. I’ll just tell myself it’s because we moved countries and life was crazy for awhile. Which it was… but still.

Now that we’re finally settling into our apartment and lives here in Austin, I’m getting into more of a routine, and have been finding a bit more time to read physical books again. Hurrah! Hence why I was able to finally finish Outlander.

So let me ask, how many books did you read last year? What are you reading right now? My list of to-reads is so long, I don’t think I’ll ever get through it – but I’m making a go at it at least. (And constantly adding to it.) And in a perfect world, someday one of the titles on my shelf will be something of my own creation.


PS – thanks for this picture, Grace Ann, taken a few years ago in Stockholm’s Stortorget as I waited to meet you for an after-work fika – and earnestly keeping up with my book club reading!


  1. I have two books I’m “reading” right now. “En Man Som Heter Ove” & “Garlic & Sapphires” & I just got a book from Greta that I’m planning to start reading today. Since book club dissolved I’ve lost my book reading discipline. Now I think, “Oh I can read this when I’m done with this project…” (Or check Instagram/FB/Twitter really quick – Ha!) And the projects never end either. Love this post & love the reminder of our Gamla Stan fika! Miss you!!!!


    Those books sound interesting! Did book club totally fizzle? I’m sorry to hear – hopefully it’ll start back up again sometime. I think it’s natural to go through cycles of interest with that sort of thing. It’s definitely hard to make reading a priority when there are a million distractions all the time! Miss you too

  3. Malin Malin

    Ove is a good book! But also “min mormor hälsar och säger förlåt” by the same author, fredrik backman. I just finished I am Malala and started Liza Marklund’s latest, järnblod. I read when I travel, the best way to make time go in airplanes, trains and at airports.
    A beautiful picture of you and Gamla Stan!


      Thanks for those tips, I’ll have to check them out! Traveling is a great time to read 🙂 And right before bed sometimes too. Thanks for reading!

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