Is Reading As Stimulating As Streaming?

As previously mentioned I bought myself an e-reader.

Some time after that I stumbled across a picture (that I can't find now, of course) that claimed that reading can be as addictive as movies. Addictive is of course used in the positive sense here; I've never heard of someone suffering from reading addiction.

I haven't had my reader for long, and there's still a novelty to it. Of course that impacts my judgment here. I also haven't had to spend time at my computer the way I have to when I work. That said, my habits have changed drastically.

Before Christmas I often spent my alone time scrolling Netflix and Disney+ for something to watch. The thing about the mindset I'm usually in when I do that is that I'm cognitively quite spent, and keep looking for something that is just right but doesn't really exist. I would look at the movies and series that I've added to my watch lists and just not feel any interest in watching any of them.

True to form I would sometimes log on with a specific movie or series in mind only to discover that it doesn't exist on either service. And so the evening passed. That two hour window I had where I could have watched something often turned into one hour or move of frustrated scrolling before finally settling on re-watching something that's kind of okay.

Recommendations are detrimental here, because they keep recommending more of the same, and either that means I've already watched all of the recommended content or that the algorithm completely misjudges what "similar content" even is.

It's not exactly quality time, but I was drawn to it like a moth to a light because when I was actually watching something I wanted to continue. I wanted to consume entertainment, even if I couldn't really digest it because of mental fatigue.

Since I got my e-reader I've spent 76.6 hours reading. I've finished more books (nine) in that time than I've read for the past three or four years combined. I'm reading my tenth book now and have another three added to the device. When I'm done with these I'm going to try on the classics: Austen, Brontë, and we'll see what else. I find Wells and Verne to be a little overrated, to be honest, but maybe I'll give them a chance again too.

I read whenever I want something to do. It draws me in a lot more than internetting (did I just invent a new verb?) or streaming. When I'm too tired to digest what I read I don't keep mindlessly watching the text the way I would mindlessly watch a movie -- I go take a rest!

Maybe this habit will continue. Maybe not. I'll have to get back to you about that. But it's sure different from having my laptop glued to me all the time.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal