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Catching up on blog-reading

My allocated blog-reading time has not kept pace with the growing list of blogs that I follow. I keep up with the blogs in my sidebar, but my feedreader (Bloglines) is bursting with unread material from around the blogosphere.

Some people might just click on that bloglines button that says “Mark All Read,” and they’d be instantly caught up.

Not me. Because that’s cheating. It’s okay to click on each blog title, and skim the list of unread post titles without actually reading any of them, after which they’re automatically all marked read. That’s not cheating.

I don’t know where these rules come from, but my life is full of them and I do abide by them.

So let’s see what I haven’t been reading lately:

I follow a nutrition blog. I don’t actually read anything in it, I just scan the titles and hope the information will soak into my brain. Here’s an example:

Four-week short chain fructo-oligosaccharides ingestion leads to an increase in fecal bifidobacteria and cholesterol excretion in healthy elderly volunteers

Without having to actually read the article, I can deduce that I should be eating more fructo-oligosaccharides. Either that or I should be eating fewer of them. Since they’ve got fructo and saccharides in their name, they sound like sweeteners, which means I probably should cut back on them. Note to self: Eat less sugar.

Moving right along:
Effect of a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid (Hyal-Joint(R)) on pain relief and quality of life in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial

I’ll just dash off an email to my son, who unfortunately inherited his father’s good-for-nothing knees instead of my fine upstanding knees, and suggest that he eat more chicken combs (those are the weird red things on top of their heads, right?).

Next I scan the Reuters Health feed for useful information like this:

Unnecessary appendectomy risky in pregnant women

Worm study shows antidepressant may lengthen worms’ lives

Lack of toilets is fatal, global association says (I’m not kidding you, this comes from the World Toilet Association, whose motto is “Toilet Is Life.” For real. Not to be confused with the World Toilet Organization, which organizes the World Toilet Summit and Expo, operates the World Toilet College, and celebrates World Toilet Day on November 19th each year.)

A trip to Dumb Little Man gives me dozens of lists of things I could be doing to improve myself and my life. I like skimming these lists. I rarely incorporate healthy new habits into my life, but I do like to count up how many things I’m already doing right.

Fourteen Ways to Stay Awake at Work
Thirty Easy Ways to Save Money
Seven Ingredients of Maturity
How to Avoid the Ten Worst Energy-Zappers
Eight Straight Benefits of Red Wine
Fifty Very Simple Ways to be Romantic

Next, I click on Zen Habits for the same kinds of things, only with an emphasis on productivity, and then Wise Bread for the same kinds of things only with an emphasis on money.

Then I skim through Vandelay Web Design just to freak myself out a bit on career-related matters, and then Simple Recipes to look at food I will never make, like Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Remoulade.

There’s so much more: A couple of hundred Lifehacker posts, all the home improvement blogs (because I have a home and someday I might improve it), Make Magazine Blog, featuring a hand-sewn cardboard ukelele, The Librarians’ Internet Index, Gizmodo, etc. etc. etc.

After a couple of hours, I’ve run out of things to not read, and I’m all caught up!

11 comments to Catching up on blog-reading

  • is that why you haven’t been over to my blog lately ?

  • Nursemyra – you’re in my sidebar, so I visit your blog almost every day!

  • Oh – and I actually READ the blogs in my sidebar, even if I don’t always leave comments.

  • zoom, you’re a riot. :)

  • Thanks for adding a few new titles to my burgeoning Reader account. Not sure whether to thank you or curse you gently… :)

  • Yeah, I had not heard of Zen Habits but now I “have” to read another blog! Funny how my regular blogs are not very self-improving. They are blogs like Cuteoverload, Daily Puppy, Daily Coyote, Lileks and Dooce. And of course you! Even if I don’t read you every day. Life is short!

  • J.

    I’m just happy that you stop by once in a while :)


  • yeah, I read all the blogs in my sidebar every day too. it’s very time consuming but strangely addictive.

    I think it’s bordering on OCD for me, I just can’t NOT do it

  • I use Google Reader and I have a list of Imperatives that I HAVE TO READ (you’re in there), can’t WAIT to read, and then I have a Cooking folder, a Casually Interesting Knitblogs Folder, a Lifehacks folder, a Writing folder — all those I can skim (or sometimes just clear, don’t tell). But the Imperative folder is read pretty much every day, and I’m thrilled when it’s full. Isn’t it nice to sit down and feel like you’re going to catch up with friends over your tea? One of the nicest things about the internet, I think. Kiss that big lug of a cat for me!

  • Thank you, and I’m happy you all read my blog. Watch out for some of those links I posted – they’re good bloggers but they’re awfully prolific. And whenever they feel like they’re not being prolific enough, they bring in guest bloggers. You just get caught up on your blog-skimming, and you’re hopelessly behind again already.

    Rachael, you sound incredibly well organized about your blog reading, with folders and everything. I am honoured to be in your Imperative folder.

  • Wow! I had no idea I was missing out on so many blogs that I could be skimming! I need to get busy…post haste!

    Fun stuff!