I believe I would be more productive without the internet. This is a bold statement because the internet means so much for so many people, but I have been using it lately to kill time around the house. I’m avoiding projects I want to accomplish by surfing through random web sites.
In truth, it’s not the internet, it’s me. Before the internet, I would get lost in books. I always had stacks of them or literary journals full of short stories, and I would grab them from piles somewhat randomly, and read. It was very hypertext-ish because of the randomness. In a sense, my reading habits were forward looking and prescient. You might even say I invented the internet.
One of my all-time favorite places is the Dawn Treader Bookshop in Ann Arbor. Many years ago, I would wander into that store on the way back from classes and purchase a few used books. I would do this frequently, and at a pace much exceeding my ability to read.
This bad habit continued after graduation with the Daedalus catalog of remainders. I quickly overwhelmed myself with lovely books, some which I still haven’t read.
To top it off, I subscribed to both The New Yorker and The Paris Review. And I liked to watch TV. What was I thinking? Ironically, it was my obsession with computers that chipped away at my reading habit. Now it’s reading on a computer that chips away at my computer habit.
Did I mention that I’m trying to learn how to play the accordion?