Why Do You Read?

Plus: 10 of my favorite Medium writers right now

Siobhan O'Connor

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

It would be a lie to say I read for a living, but it’s fair to say I make a living because I love to read and am good at it.

Why do you read? When you ask people this, a lot of them say they read to consume information or to escape. No offense to me, but this blog post will likely contain very little information! And surely no escape, unless you are procrastinating. But it contains thought and opinion, and you may get a sense of how sentences form in my head because I write how I think, and you’ll learn who I’m reading lately, and why.

I think we read to connect with ideas and people. I have an always-growing list of people who I will read no matter what. I’ll read their tweets, their replies to other people’s tweets, their deep captions on IG, their blogs, their longform, their newsletters, their books, their texts, if I am lucky enough to call them a friend. Some of these writers I love for their voice, others for the way they think, for their spare (or weird!) use of language, for their ideas, or how they change my mind. And they all connect.

So I’m going to salute them here. Here are 10 writers I read for different reasons. Feel free to share your own list. (If you do, please tag me so I see your post — it’s an occupational requirement for me to fall in love with new writers on an ongoing basis 🤗.)

  1. Manoush Zomorodi. Manoush is an author, podcaster, host of the TED Radio Hour, and my workout buddy in the before times. She just started blogging regularly on Medium, and I love reading her because she writes how she speaks, and she speaks like the most candid, interesting person at the dinner party. She works at the intersection of technology and real life, which is relevant to all our interests. Meet her here.
  2. Bonsu Thompson writes about race and culture. I have known him a long time and he’s always been good. Lately when I read him, I catch myself holding my breath till the end. He comes at everything sideways and his thinking feels urgent these days. Like Manoush, very strong voice. This piece of his caught fire over the weekend. Get familiar with his archive.
  3. Michael Sippey, person of interests, product leader, reader, writer, purveyor of dad jokes. Sippey…

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Siobhan O'Connor

I write and edit, usually in that order. Priors: VP, Editorial @Medium, exec editor at TIME, exec editor at Prevention, features at GOOD magazine etc.