Anne Helen Petersen wants you to take 30 minutes to just read

I enjoyed this interview with Anne Helen Petersen on the Pocket blog. She talks about her path from academia to writing deeply-researched articles on everything from burnout to women in film and music.

It seems fitting that I would read this shortly after the Atlantic piece from my last post. Petersen writes:

But everyone, no matter where they are and what they do, should have 30 minutes in their life to devote to something they want to read, listen to, or think about. For centuries people of all classes have had that sort of time, even if they devoted it exclusively to the bible or church.

I do think that most people do have that time—it’s just whittled away by other distractions (our phones, checking email, especially) that we turn to for quick relief from the overwhelming stresses from the other corners of our lives. Taking 30 minutes to read feels indulgent. It shouldn’t.

She also describes a phenomenon that desperately needs a noun:

The most embarrassing thing is when you start pocketing articles for a piece, go back and search a keyword, and realize that you pocketed the EXACT SAME ARTICLE two years ago—just never read it.

(In my case it happens more frequently with Pinboard, which I use for bookmarking).