This & That: February 21, 2023
It's okay to forget what you read.
How was your long weekend? If it was like ours, the kids had a couple days off the school while the adults tried to figure out ways to entertain them while still working. Thankfully the weather complied and we shooed ‘em all outside for a few hours each day.
In today’s newsletter, I have some thoughts on forgetting what you read, a mini list of great campus novels, and a few fun links.
Something I’m Thinking About: It’s Okay to Forget What You Read
I get a lot of questions about how I remember what I read. And you’ll find innumerable articles online slinging ideas and apps about how to better retain what you read. It’s a worthy quest, but I also think it’s a little bit misguided.
After years of pondering that question myself, I no longer feel the need to remember the specifics of everything I read.
When you view books as a form of mental, emotional, and spiritual nourishment, you’re freed from the necessity of being able to recall every plot twist and turn of phrase.
It’s much like eating three square meals a day. You don’t remember every meal you eat, but you need to eat regularly or you’ll whither away. You do remember the special meals, though — celebrations and special moments, hidden gem restaurants, nostalgic comfort foods, etc.
If I go too long without reading, I feel antsy . . . hungry to crack open the spine of a delicious book. I don’t remember every story, and over time I end up forgetting plot points and entire characters of even my favorite books. But I do remember the special ones — whether it’s the beauty of the story itself (This Is How It Always Is) or tied to big moments in life (When Breath Becomes Air, which I read after all three of my kids were born).
Every time I read, regardless of if I end up remembering the details or not, it nourishes my inner being.
Treat reading as the daily meal your soul needs to function at its peak.