I noticed recently that I’m not consuming books in the way I once did. And that even when I do read, I don’t have the attention span I once did. It’s true I also don’t have the physical stamina or muscle strength or flexibility that I once did, either. I blame social media–the same way we once blamed MTV and before that television and before that the radio for our distractions and lack of productivity in life–for the first two. Age for the third.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not reading. I do. I read all the time. I even read more than just my friends’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. Have you noticed the recent surge in personal essays online? They’re everywhere. And, then, of course, there are the blogs. Like this one.
So, last week, I started tracking the essays, short stories, and other non-book things I was reading. I certainly forgot to log a few. And a few others I purposefully didn’t make note of for one reason or another. Here’s what did make the list. Think of this list as my GoodReads for shorter works. I’ve included links where available, if you’re interested. Please read some/all of these and feel free to comment on them below. But keep reading books. Please, keep reading books.
Barry Lopez’ “Sliver of Sky” in The Atlantic.
Mary Lerner’s “Little Selves” in Best American Short Stories of the Century.
Melissa Shepherd’s “That Night: Fifty Years Later” in Creative Nonfiction.
Lane Johnson’s “The Math of Marriage” in Creative Nonfiction.
Dave Eggers’ “The Man at the River” in Granta.
Timothy Aubrey’s “A Matter of Life & Death” in The Point.
Rebecca Solnit’s “To Break the Story You Must Break the Status Quo” in Literary Hub.
Grayson Schaeffer’s “The Keyhole Seven” in Outside.
Nickolas Kristof’s “Sore Happy Feet on the Pacific Crest Trail” in the New York Times.
Melissa Groo’s “Keeping the Wild in Photographing Wildlife” in National Wildlife Federation.