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On Reading News, Remembering, and Why We Write

This post was first sent to my newsletter on November 7th, 2021.
You really ought to subscribe :)


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A few days late, but Happy Diwali, folks! :)

A small ask of you, to begin with.
Like I wrote in the past, I don’t have any sort of tracking in these mails.
There are no ads, nothing to push. Just a labour of love.
So I have no idea whether these posts resonate or I’m just howling into the storm that is your inbox.
If you like it, hate it, agree/disagree, write me :)
All I get to see are a couple of folk leaving, every once in a while, and my list, my tribe in fact is really tiny and it feels a bit discouraging.1

So share this with friends and ask them to subscribe and write to me and tell me how much you love the letters and make me happy :)
What is a festive season without a bit of emotional, tugging of the heartstrings? 😂

On to our letter!

You know the drill! Click the headers, to wander off to the original articles and read them :)


Why You Should Stop Reading News, Shane Parrish

Rarely do we stop to ask ourselves questions about the media we consume:
Is this good for me?
Is this dense with detailed information?
Is this important?
Is this going to stand the test of time?
Is the person writing someone who is well informed on the issue?
Asking those questions makes it clear the news isn’t good for you.

“[W]e’re surrounded by so much information that is of immediate interest to us, that we feel overwhelmed by the never-ending pressure of trying to keep up with it all.”

— Nicolas Carr


Shane, once again on, How to Remember What You Read

If you only remember six things after reading this article, it should be the following truths about reading:

  1. Quality matters more than quantity. If you read one book a month but fully appreciate and absorb it, you’ll be better off than someone who skims half the library without paying attention.
  2. Speed-reading is bullshit. Getting the rough gist and absorbing the lessons are two different things. Confuse them at your peril.
  3. Book summary services miss the point. A lot of companies charge ridiculous prices for access to vague summaries bearing only the faintest resemblance to anything in the book. Summaries can be a useful jumping-off point to explore your curiosity, but you cannot learn from them the way you can from the original text.
  4. Fancy apps and tools are not needed. A notebook, index cards, and a pen will do just fine.
  5. We shouldn’t read stuff we find boring. Life is far too short.
  6. Finishing the book is optional. You should start a lot of books and only finish a few of them.

Complement with Nicky Case’s amazing website, applet, spaced repetition teaching aid, explorable explanation, How To Remember Anything Forever (…ish)

Tony Stark nearly gasped as a gloved hand trailed down his spine. The steady pressure was smooth and almost reassuring. Obama chuckled. “You mean, the–


This is why we write, Neil Gaiman

This little piece on Neil’s blog is so heartwarming, empowering and inspiring, that I refuse to spoil it for you.
Go read and smile :)


So long for now, and I’ll play catch up next month :)
Remember to write! 2


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P.P.P.S If you love language and word jokes as much as I do, this should keep you chuckling.3 (once when you read the thread and then for the next couple of days as you keep thinking about it.)


  1. Even though it shouldn’t be. I do it all the time, myself. Time and attention are the most precious things we have! :) 

  2. in your blogs, or your journals or wherever! And write to me! 

  3. via James Clears’ newsletter