Summer Reading

Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD
By
Growing up, I was not the reading type. I was the kid on the bike, the ball field or 20 feet up in the neighbor’s valley oak. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until high school that I realized the power of reading. Ayn Rand, who shares my birthday, published the first book that transformed the way I see the world: The Fountainhead.

The end of the school year is a great time to revisit what’s on your reading list. In need of suggestions? Check out Bill Gate’s blog, “gatesnotes.” Some of his all-time favorites are The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and Business Adventure by John Brooks. The treasure I’m in the midst of currently has brought me deeper understanding of myself and one of my kids in particular, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Want a quick, powerful novel? Grab The Road by Cormac McCarthy. If you have any favorites, I’d love to hear about them.

Reading makes me appreciate different perspectives, lets me see through another’s eyes and expands my sphere of appreciation. It also forces me to define my own opinions and biases. While Retina Specialist is not intended to compete with a well penned book, I hope that some of the pieces in this and future editions will encourage you to think differently about your management of retinal diseases.

Do it the old fashion way. My kids read from a Kindle. I prefer paperbacks. There’s fulfillment that comes from turning pages, taking notes in the margins and dog-earing good sections. I seldom come back to the notes or the dog-ears, but the act of recognizing quality sections makes the content stick better in my mind.

Sometimes I tell myself I’m too busy to read and weeks or months go by without picking up a book. When I do jump back in to the right book, it’s refreshing. Like going back to 2,000 cuts per minute during a vitrectomy, when you jump back to 16,000 (or whatever your machine’s fastest cut rate is), you find renewed appreciation for what was missing.  

I find it ironic that Steve Jobs did all he could to keep his kids away from the iPad. In a world inundated with digital information and distractions, make time to unplug. Dive into a book this summer. Let me know what’s on your summer reading list.