Seeking Perfection

I have this tendency to try to do things meticulously. I sometimes seek perfection in mundane tasks. For instance, I keep thinking, I need to read a particular celebrated author very carefully. I need a physical copy of the book to be able to underline beautiful prose, think deeply about the ideas and then write about them in my journal or blog. Over time, I have realized that adding this barrier of reading very carefully made me read a lot lesser. “Perfect” settings for reading were hard to come by. I don’t often have hours to sit and underline things while sipping on the perfect cup of cappuccino in a dimly lit cafe. While it would be lovely to have that perfect setting, I realized, I cannot let phases of my life not be enriched by books just because I am seeking the “perfect way” of reading.

To this end, I have started consuming audio books. A few months into my Audible subscription, I am an audio book junkie. I read (listen) while walking from home to work, biking, eating food, washing dishes, cooking meals and so on. While it is not ideal, I often miss a line I wished I could have written down and remembered and sometimes there is a paragraph I want to savor several times before it disappears in the back of my crowded mind. Far from perfect, this way has allowed me to read some amazing books at a fairly good speed. This is very fortunate because reading is one of those things that gives me joy when all else fails, it changes context like baked goods do. When my brain crowds with unproductive thoughts, mindless navigation of favorite shopping or news websites don’t clear it but reading does.

So, if you are anything like me, do consider adopting the audio book in favor of your physical (or kindle) books. I am sure you will find yourself enjoying more books by fitting audio books into the idle interstices of your otherwise busy day.