Apparently, it’s book week here at Puffin Picks.
I’ve always been a huge reader, but the downside of writing more (both for this blog and elsewhere) is that I find myself reading less. But with the poor air quality in the Bay Area due to the wildfires, I’ve been forced indoors.
Running outside is out for foreseeable future. And honestly, I’m skipping most indoor exercise too. So I find myself with much more reading time than usual.
Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.
My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?
Let Your Mind Run By Deena Kastor
I don’t tend to read many memoirs or biographies. I suppose I’m just not terribly interested in the minutia of other people’s lives. This includes many memoirs and biographies of running elites. The details of their lives and running experiences is so far away from anything that resembles what I do when I run that it just doesn’t resonate with me.
But the focus of this memoir promised to be more about the mental training Kastor does. This could be much more relatable, so I gave it a shot.
While Kastor does go into some detail about her training in Let Your Mind Run (I can’t even begin to comprehend the paces that she runs), the majority of the book focuses on either: the mental cues she uses while running, what she is thinking about or focusing on while she runs, or the notes her coach gave her about mindset.
Two quotes really stuck with me from this book:
“Find a thought that serves you better”
“Even when changing my thinking didn’t drastically transform my mood, it kept me from spiralling into a negative space.”
You don’t need to be an elite runner for those ideas to benefit your running.
Inner Runner By Jason Karp
Full disclosure – I’m still reading this book, but so far, I’m really enjoying it.
The subtitle of the book is ‘running to a more successful, creative, and confident you.’
It asks, and tries to answer, many of the questions I ponder with this blog. It’s less focused on the mechanics and the drills of running, and more focused on the inner side of running and the mental benefits to be gained from running.
My favorite quote (so far):
“You don’t become a runner and then run. You run and run and run, and then begin to understand what it means to be a runner.”
Library Digital Books
As a Ravenclaw, it should come as no surprise I love the library. The (physical) library near me is tiny, so I avidly use the reserve system to get whatever books I want. But between budget cuts and it being so small, it’s not open for many hours a week.
What to do when I need a book and the library is closed?
Enter: The digital library!
Most library systems now offer digital books in addition to IRL books. My local library system uses an app called Overdrive, but there are dozens of different systems out there.
If I finish a book at 5 PM on a Sunday, I can simply go online to get my next digital book, or I can browse what’s available when I’m traveling and finish my latest book.
I’m no stranger to the digital world, but getting digital books from the library still blows my mind a little.
I’m not sure why. For every other item in the world I find it odd if some element of it isn’t digitized, but I still can’t entirely get my head around digital library books.
What the heck… I’ll make it an all book issue…
I’ve had several Kindles over the years, including the OG – the Kindle 1.0. I never expected (or wanted) my Kindle to replace physical books. I love physical books, and in most cases, I prefer them.
But there are times when I much prefer the Kindle. Traveling is a big one. When reading books where I know I’m gonna have to look up the meanings of words is another (the dictionary is one click away on the Kindle – very helpful when reading a book where the author got a little too friendly with the thesaurus).
But my favorite time to use the Kindle (and one that I didn’t expect when I first got it), is when I’m eating.
Have you ever tried to eat a Chipotle burrito while reading a ‘real’ book? You can’t. Or at least, you can’t without getting sour cream and escaped rice and beans all over your book.
But a Kindle + Chipotle? So easy! It’s basically hands-free.
I’ve mastered the knuckle page-turn so I don’t need to even clean off my hands to keep reading.