Oy! I can’t seem to stick to a prescribed reading list! Not even one I prescribed for myself. In the past couple of months I’ve read three more books that aren’t on the original Year of Creative Reading list. They are …
“Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Johah Berger did not stick with me. Ironic, no? I was too distracted while I was reading it for the info to make a lasting impression on me. There’s a lesson it that, I think. No matter how well-crafted the message, if you’re busy with something else, you’re likely to miss it. If I get around to it, perhaps I’ll try reading it again.
“Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It” by Ian Leslie had me really paying attention. The one thing I remember after reading it a few weeks ago is the difference between diversive curiosity and epistemic curiosity. Diversive curiosity refers to the shiny objects that catch our attention briefly. The new, new thing that we’re curious about, but only on a surface level, until we’re distracted by another shiny object.
Epistemic curiosity is deep, long-term curiosity about a particular subject, that mystery you can’t let go of or the topic of interest that holds your interest because you want to know more and more.
“Curious” argues that in our Internet everything-is-always-changing age, we are in danger of losing our epistemic curiosity.
While I could easily defend putting both “Contagious” and “Curious” on a list related to creative reading, I’m not so sure about “One Red Paperclip: Or How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply“. The book, by Kyle MacDonald, explains how the author made a series of trades, starting with a red paperclip, until he got to a house. It was an easy read and fascinating to see how people got so involved in the trades. It’s the kind of book that gives you the inspiration to want to try something similar. Not that I could get from a paperclip to a house in a year … but what if I could? So, while the book is not about creativity per se, there is inspiration for living creatively within its pages.
(I can justify pretty much any book on my Year of Creative Reading list, can’t I?)