4 ways to up your cultural intake if you simply can’t find the time

If you’re like me, you’ll have a list in your phone comprising recommendations thrown to you by helpful friends insisting this is the best thing since Game of Thrones (which I still haven’t watched). And while the promise of the new is always exciting, it inevitably descends into a kind of anxiety I like to call cultural-saturation-syndrome as the list gets longer and my time, shorter.

Looking to calm my elevated heart rate at the daunting prospect of delving into my Netflix backlog (with a combined viewing time that would take me through to December), I have sought more manageable ways of wading through seemingly endless viewing and reading options, while maintaining my day-to-day demands.

1. Podcasts
These delightful audio bites provide a veritable smorgasbord of topics to open your ears to. Engage with your favourite subjects, learn about interesting things, ingest personable interviews with people you admire and have a laugh along the way. These are our current podcast obsessions.

2. Audiobooks
Whether you listen on the run, at the gym, in the car or falling asleep, the art of multitasking finds an appropriate soundtrack in the audiobook. The modern and unavoidably addictive way to absorb those titles you’ve put on the back burner for months, any book worth its salt should have an accompanying audio version.

3. Short stories
If your palms start sweating profusely at the thought of that 500-page wartime epic you’ve told yourself you HAVE to read before the end of the year, take a load off and dabble in short stories instead. With a number of titles by renowned literary figures including Beware of the Dog by Roald Dahl; The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens; The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde; and Stone Mattress by Margaret Attwood, our current favourite has to be Haruki Murakami’s selection of short stories, Men Without Women.

4. Apps
While the apps on our phones might feel as though they are there to collect dust, they can actually make life a little easier. Culturally focused apps like Google Arts and Culture and London Review of Books allow you to cultivate stimulating material at the touch of a button, without wasting precious time searching. It’s the perfect scrolling fodder for traveling on public transport or waiting in line.

Culture


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