Yesterday, my roomie, Stew, kind of called me out (in a good way — a way that got me thinking). I began to tell her about something, starting with my apparently frequent introduction of, “I read this article that…”

She interrupted me with, “Are all your thoughts based on articles? How do you read so many?!” (in a friendlier tone than can be expressed via Arial).

And it was then I realized that I am a total article whore.

Juxtaposed media: laptop, magazine, newspaper
What's your favorite source of information?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been a voracious reader. I was such a loser that I even had a BOOK PURSE that I would take with me to social events. It kind of looked like this. (That image was really hard to find, btw. I guess they’re not in style anymore. Also, I really don’t know why I still have friends… but thanks for sticking with me, guys!)

As further evidence, in second grade, we got cards from our teacher that said our name and a quality we possessed. My friend Claire’s probably was, “Claire is a great helper.” Kate’s likely said, “Kate is an extraordinary artist.” Mine was, “Susan is an avid reader.”

WTF?

Last time I checked, doing something a lot doesn’t make it a skill or quality. I swear I’m not that nerdy; I was only doing it for the Pizza Hut reading club points. Really! Anyhow, I digress. You get the point.

I have always been, and will always be, a reading freak.

But the media’s changed. These days, I wish I devoted more time to reading actual paper books (how vintage of me!), but my four pages before I fall asleep is about where I’m at.

That’s because, though reading a novel transports me to another place (and sprinkles my brain with new writing methods and words), the knowledge and perspective transferred isn’t instant. And, like most Millenials, I am an instant gratification addict.

In order for me to learn from a book, I usually have to finish it first. Even then, it takes me days, weeks, sometimes months, before I can process what I read and the importance of it. That is, if the book was even any good.

With an online post, the information obtained is near instantaneous. If the article sucks, I can immediately X out the tab. If it’s interesting, I can get the take-away message in less than a minute.

Stack of unfinished books
I've been cheating on these guys with the internet.

And these messages and new perspectives really do affect my thinking. My mind and opinions are expanding and changing every day, thanks to what I’m reading.

I read articles from a variety of news sources and an ever-growing list of blogs on topics as random as my interests — travel, writing, entrepreneurship, happiness, zen-nessfrequent flyingphotography, money (how to be even more Jewish), Michigan football, cooking — and even one personal blog by a 28-year old woman who has a husband and a baby and an Etsy store. (Don’t ask me how I found that one. I’m pretty sure she fascinates me because, though she’s close to my age, her life is SO different than mine. And she’s a lovely writer.) 

It’s a blessing to have so much information at my fingertips, but the ginormousness is overwhelming. There’s no way to read a billionth of it all. So, whenever a friend shares an article with me, I’m always appreciative of the fact that they read it, thought of me, and took the time to send it along.

I try to do the same for others and am constantly sending articles to my friends that I think they’ll find interesting. Craft beer? Sounds like something my friend Teddy, who is a craft brewer in Shanghai (yeah, he kicks ass) would love. What Jean-Claude Van Damme ate for breakfast? Right up Maggie’s alley. (She kicks ass, too, btw.)

Girl looking at a computer
Me looking ultra-serious in my article perusal. Most likely, I am watching the Magic Mike trailer... on repeat.

In addition to getting articles from friends, I LOVE link roundups as a method of paring down the madness. Two of my favorites are Alexis Grant’s Writers’ Roundup and The Everywhereist’s The Week. Each week, these smart women share their discoveries with their readers, expanding both their readers’ minds and their sources’ reach.  

Crowdsourcing knowledge and ideas is one of the best features of the internet. 

(Well that, and the fact that, whenever you think your life is bad, you can watch this video of a guy getting hit by an ice cream truck.) And, for many (my generation for sure), things shared digitally are our biggest sources of inspiration and education.

I realize that you probs have a life, and thus don’t have as much time as I do to troll around the internet for web nuggets. To maybe help you out in your quest for info, I’m going to start posting my own link roundup of brillz things I’ve found around the internet that week. 

I’ve tried (and failed) to do this on a regular basis before. See here, here, and here. Though I do post most of the things I find interesting on Twitter, many of you guys don’t use it, and those who do still don’t see every one of my tweets (horrors!). 

Fellow article whores, rejoice!

This time it’s for reals. I’m really going to post a link roundup each week with my fave articles from around the web. It’s going to be on Fridays, as that seems to be the popular day to do ‘em. I imagine I’ll post mostly travel & writing links, and then any videos of animals that are sleepy or confused.

If you have other things you’d like me to include, let me know in the comments!

Subscribe to Travel Junkette (via RSS or email — see the “Don’t Miss A Beat” box up and to the right) for your weekly link roundup, and you’ll hopefully find your “reading around” (haha, I’m hilar) a little bit easier.

I’d love to hear what you think. How has the age of instantaneousness changed the way you get your information? Has it been for the better?