(Truth) The junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix


For most of my adult life, I have read, like E. I. Lonoff in Roth’s The Ghost Writer, primarily at night: a hundred or so pages every evening once Rae and the kids have gone to bed. These days, after spending hours on the computer, I pick up a book and read a paragraph; then my mind wanders and I check my e-mail, drift onto the Internet, pace the house before returning to the page. Or I want to do these things but don’t, force myself to remain still, to follow what I’m reading until I give myself over to the flow. What I’m struggling with is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there is something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it’s mostly just a series of disconnected riffs, quick takes and fragments, that add up to the anxiety of the age. How did this happen? Perhaps it’s easier to pinpoint when. Certainly, it began after the fall of 2006, when I first got high-speed Internet, which I had previously resisted because I understood my tendency to lose myself in the instant gratifications of the information stream. […] It all felt so immensely freighted that to look back now is to recall little more than the frantic blur of stimulation, the lab rat’s manipulated jolt at pressing the proper button, the junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix.

~ David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.

Related David L. Ulin Post: We immerse, slow down. Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk


  1. georgiakevin says:

    Man can I ever relate to your blog! Well written indeed!!


  2. I’m sure glad I was born in the 50’s. I would be a zombie if I were a kid now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. easy….does….it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m here for the photos

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m with the seeker on this one. Too many words, too little time. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was me – totally. The flip side of recognizing that we’re not that essential? The delight in finding that time is really there for one to do a bit more of the heart-filling stuff – reading, growing friendships, looking up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peggy Farrell Schroeder says:

    Unfortunately, I can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think most of us can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s horrible…and it seems impossible to even find a solution anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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