Ta-Nehisi Coates: What I Read

The Atlantic blogger explains his Media Diet

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How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various friends and colleagues who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is from a conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, a blogger and contributing editor for The Atlantic.My morning routine shifts from time to time depending on the issue of the day. I mostly read blogs on politics and social issues, although I do scan some of the major papers--The Times and The Post--online. Health care's been big, so at this point I'm reading bloggers Andrew Sullivan, Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn. I don't use an RSS reader because I want to surf. I like seeing sites as they are--it's like visiting somebody else's house. As a blogger, I find that particularly helpful too because you never know what you're going to pick up by visiting their pages. I usually check in over at Talking Points Memo, Slate, and The Root, too. My favorite site right now is probably this site PostBourgie--a blog that covers political and social issues--and I link to them quite a bit. I also read Alyssa Rosenberg, who writes about culture, and, quite frankly, The Atlantic Wire. I'm not saying that to promote it, it's just that there are links to it on my blog, so it makes it very easy to check it out.

I'm probably blogging and reading until about ten to get most of my posts done for the day and then I'm going to go out for a while. I'm back around two or three and then I'm back into my routine. It's a very similar routine to the morning--it's usually the same stuff. I'll go check on Andrew again, Yglesias, whoever. It's just a matter of going back to the same sites. I'm reading my commenters also.

I'll check on updates at The Times and The Post online. I generally scan the papers. I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I don't even have a subscription to The New York Times anymore. I did for many years and I guess I'll get a subscription once they go to a pay model. As a paper, there's so much in there it's become hard to keep up with.

I spend a considerable amount of time reading books, because I blog about reading books too. I usually do some reading in the morning. Right now, I'm reading "In Old Virginia: Slavery, Farming, and Society in the Journal of John Walker" by Claudia L. Bushman. Basically this woman got a hold of this Virginia planter's diary and is analyzing it and talking about the particulars of daily life in Virginia and the South.

When you're writing at the pace that I'm writing, you kind of have to choose what you read. So I've kind of chosen books, scanning blogs and reading the general interest stuff that I have to read. I've got to read The Atlantic, I've got to read The New Yorker. There's just no way out of that.

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