The idea of committing to reading a book generally terrifies me. One short film and a little introspection later, though... I have a path forward!

I'm beyond embarrassed by the number of books I have on my Kindle whose pages have yet to see the light of day. Physical books on my shelf sit half–or completely–unread. It's a sad state of literary affairs over here.

I know I'm not alone with this struggle, but a recent short-film-slash-documentary called Bookstores gave me a good deal of hope. It reminded me what I had loved about reading when it was a larger part of my life.

Aside from reminding me—and romanticizing, sure—how lovely books and bookstores can be, this film breaks down the math around how little time actually need be pulled from your days to make meaningful progress. Better yet? There are methods that will both speed up your reading and possibly make it more enjoyable! This was huge for me.

Clocking in at around 40 minutes long it's a small investment for some — I broke it up over a few viewings. Don't let the length be a deterrent, it's ultimately time well spent. ↓

With any luck this inspires at least a few other people to set aside small chunks of time in their day to read. 30 minutes isn't that much to ask, and it really can add up in the long run.

While we're here, let's appreciate your friendly neighborhood bookstore

They really are dying out. Pieces and places of history are being lost, and we need to continue our efforts to keep these stores around.

Owners and employees of the smaller shops are often exceptionally helpful as you'd expect when you're looking for something new. Or old. More often than not they truly love what they do. (They sure aren't doing it for the lavish 💰🎉 lifestyle independent bookstore owners are known to lead.)

At the end of the day, sure, Amazon is better than nothing. They're sure as hell convenient (I've ordered something north of 80 books on my kindle, so I'm no saint.) Barns & Noble is the Starbucks of bookstores, and they're ok too. Reading is the ultimate goal here, but seeking out and supporting independent bookstores along your journey will seriously help an industry deserving some love. I think you'll find the effort rewarding.