Inspired by the Dear Data project, where two women tracked and shared data in their own lives over the course of a year, I spent a week tracking my reading. I have always been an avid reader, and the volume of books and articles that I read has often been a source of admiration by others. People frequently ask, “How do you read so much?” Therefore, it seemed worthwhile to track my reading, and then try to find some patterns to answer that exact question.
I tracked my reading in a log I carried around the entire week in my purse. I noted the day, time, duration, title of the piece, and then whether it was digital or physical. The following patterns emerged:
- I mostly read in micro-bursts, for periods of 15 minutes or less. In this way, I chip away at the things I have to read and want to read.
- The majority of reading happens digitally, on my phone.
- However I do tend to pick up physical books throughout the week – and I only read fiction in physical form
- I finish every day with fiction reading, for at least 30 minutes in bed
- Most of what I read is not required reading – part of a class or work project – but rather reading driven by my own interests
To complete the project, I created a visual to show the overall patterns in my reading. The image is above, inspired by the design of the postcards in the Dear Data project. And here is the key to help you understand the image!