June 29th 2021

Read more poetry

I used to find books very intimidating. It would take me a days or weeks to just make a dent in one. I used to not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or the wisdom and knowledge that might be waiting for me in a few more chapters. It wasn't until I decided to try reading A Game of Thrones that I got used to the discomfort of having a million pages to go. I couldn't tell you how long it took me but something changed in my after reading that book.

After that I would read and read and read, never scoffing at how big the book was or how long I had been reading it. Looking back I think it was the amount of shit that was going down. The book was huge, nearly 700 pages, but each page was utilised to the fullest. The wasn't bit of information that wasn't necessary or repeated. I thought "Maybe reading isn't such a time sink after all, look at all this information you can distil from a few pages.

Fast forward a couple of years and my reading habits move from conquering empires to conquering the real world. I switched over to reading mainly non-fiction books, a bit of me was starting to worry about the time sink-ness again and wanted to gain some "real world value" from the books I was reading. Turns out, most books can be blog posts (and most blog posts can be tweets). Do you know what can't be reduced down to a tweet? Poetry

The Guesthouse by Rumi was shared in a group chat by Paris Rouzati. I'd never read or even heard of Rumi before. I read over the poem once, then again. Then again. I was amazed that in less than 100 words they were able to convey such a complex message. And yet I'm reading books on "bigger" subjects that take up twice as many pages as this has words. If you're wanting to get as much knowledge in the shortest time possible, read more poetry.

I recently picked up my own poetry book, it was a present from a few years ago. Instead of picking up my main books I decided to dig into some of the words in here. I found that the subject matter is way closer to home than what I'd been reading my non-fiction. Most poets cover real life problems, most non-fiction books cover the problems you wish you had.

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