tag:k7v.in,2013:/posts Go Flip Yourself. 2024-06-10T04:52:45Z kev tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2115318 2024-06-10T04:52:45Z 2024-06-10T04:52:45Z Assorted links from week23, 2024

🏡 One of my observation following my latest US trip was: “In both NYC and SF people were defining themselves and thought on a 'neighborhood-basis'.” Ava and Phil demonstrated this perfectly in their discussion about the importance of picking your neighborhood.

All this to say, my neighborhood choice has really affected my experience of San Francisco. So when I started chatting with Phil Levin, who founded Live Near Friends and Radish, a multigenerational compound in Oakland with 20 adults and six children living across 10 homes, and he mentioned that picking your neighborhood is more important than picking your city, everything clicked into place.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2114524 2024-06-06T07:53:19Z 2024-06-06T09:24:23Z Mindset differences between Europe and the US

I've been thinking a lot lately about the differences between Europe and the US. I'm a European first -I grew up in France- but I've always felt strongly attracted by the US. It's been a love at first sight since my very first visit in Boston when I was 16 y/o. Since then I've been countless times and I got lucky enough to live in LA, California and a few years later in Boulder, Colorado. We now have a routine with Mathilde and the kids, we go back to the US altogether every year, home-swapping for the whole summer.

As an entrepreneur, I've experienced firsthand the biggest differences in terms of mindset between both places. But it is only now that I spend more time over there as a parent that I realise how impactful -for life- are all these differences. Many of them can be trace back to some of my observations following my last 2 weeks over there.

Golden Gate bridge by Joshua Sortino
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2113924 2024-06-03T09:19:42Z 2024-06-03T13:40:00Z Assorted links from week22, 2024

☠️ I’ve already sent this post to a few friends last week. Henrik at his best: Don't sacrifice the wrong thing.

You don’t have to do things others do, or have things they have, at the expense of the deeper things you want. You really don’t. Almost everything is an option. You have full permission to ask yourself what really matters to you—whatever that is—and then optimize for that in all hard tradeoffs of life.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2110298 2024-05-28T04:51:05Z 2024-05-29T07:18:21Z Dealing with money as a couple

Most people have a complicated relationship with money. Now, add one more person into the mix and... boom, enjoy the show. Money within couples tend to exacerbate many trends and behaviors. I'm building a life with Mathilde for more than 18 years -we've met when we were 17 years old- so we spent our fair amount of time dealing with the topic, taming it, ultimately mastering it according to who we are, what and how we want to build our family.

Unknown, ‘View of the Bank's printing room in 1854 as featured in the Illustrated London News’, Britannia Quarterly, 1980, Bank of England Archive: PW1/31
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2112460 2024-05-27T08:40:55Z 2024-05-27T08:40:55Z Assorted links from week21, 2024

💬 since I started tracking my screentime a long time ago, I know for a fact chat-based apps are taking more and more of my time. So when Sriram wrote about how group chats rule the world, I did agree with many of his thoughts.

Most of the interesting conversations in tech now happen in private group chats: Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal, small invite-only Discord groups. Being part of the right group chat can feel like having a peek at the kitchen of a restaurant but instead of food, messy ideas and gossip fly about in real time, get mixed, remixed, discarded, polished before they show up in a prepared fashion in public.

Salons and groups have always existed but why the recent shift to private discourse?

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2111409 2024-05-22T05:04:20Z 2024-05-22T05:04:31Z Assorted links from week20, 2024

🇫🇷 if you’re in Paris -two interesting events are coming this week 👇

  • on wednesday evening at 48 Collagen Café is Fashion Conversations dinner -more info and RSVP here. ​The Fashion Conversations think tank was created in 2019 to foster authentic relations among fashion professionals who are pushing the boundaries for our industry. The community includes founders and leaders discussing new models and solution-driven technology building the future of fashion.

  • on sunday for a brunch with 2 very special people, Jenni and Patricia. The topic couldn’t be closer to my heart. I wish I could be there -more info and RSVP here. Patricia wrote about it here as well: a sense of place.

🪩 the question asked by Emily on GQ was utterly interesting: why members-only clubs are everywhere right now? I think that one below could sum up everything:

And will the prospective members find sex, connection, and community all under the guise of private networking?

Artwork courtesy of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2109774 2024-05-16T04:43:27Z 2024-05-22T09:30:07Z A few observations after one week in Lisbon

I spent a whole week in Lisbon, Portugal last month. I was with Mathilde and both our kids -we celebrated their 5 and 3 year-old birthdays over there- they were psyched. We stayed with very close friends who live in Lisbon for many, many years. We have a special connection with the city. We visited for the first time in 2016 and fell in love right away. We then decided to move permanently and settled during the summer of 2018. We finally left a bit more than 3 years later, at the end of 2021. Both our kids are born in the city. Our oldest used to go to a local kindergarten, his first words were in portuguese. We came back to Lisbon during the summer of 2022 and both our kids went to this kindergarten for 2 months. We enjoyed a unique relationship with our neighbours -local teachers and actors- and got lucky enough to call our neighborhood -Penha de França- home for a little while.

I've been a vocal advocate for Lisbon for a while. I remember enthusiastically attracting many people to the city. Unfortunately I grew disappointed. What I saw last month confirmed my fears. So in the spirit of my post following my latest US trip, below are a few observations in no particular order. Needless to add: all of the below is heavily biased, non-complete and subjective.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2109321 2024-05-13T09:00:10Z 2024-05-13T09:00:19Z Assorted links from week19, 2024

👯 Some tenets of the ‘friendship theory of everything’ Ava highlighted really resonated:

  1. You accept that in choosing who you spend time with you choose who you are.

  2. Almost everyone who’s unhappy is unhappy because they feel isolated. The best cure for isolation is a strong friend group. So much of happiness is having someone you can get a last-minute dinner with on a Monday night, or ask to water your plants while you’re gone for a week. The opposite of loneliness, as it were.

🍪 I got lucky enough to get a sneak preview on the draft of this post. Itay went through points truly close to my heart. It made me remember an old debate at home when I was a kid: if we should get an ‘all-in-one’ TV-VHS combo or not -we decided we shouldn’t. Designing for a single purpose.

Owner Vera Van Stapele with fresh-baked cookies

]]> Kevin Straszburger tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2108167 2024-05-07T04:46:01Z 2024-05-07T04:46:18Z Thoughts on the post-individual

I read The Post-Individual essay yesterday; written by the writer and entrepreneur Yancey Strickler -today behind Metalabel, before that behind Kickstarter. I highly recommend it. It goes back in history and the creation of the individualism. Here are the first 3 paragraphs:

On the internet we can be whoever we want to be. We can choose from any number of qualities, real or imagined, and express ourselves and live our lives from that point of view online.

To go online is to become re-individualized — an individual in a whole new way and place. You still exist in the physical world, but you gain a new social existence that floats over-top of, around, inside of, and as a force within almost all other areas of life.

Because of the internet we don’t need to define our identity based on where we physically live, who we’re born to, or what we look like, as has been the case in human history until now.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2107921 2024-05-06T04:32:03Z 2024-05-06T04:32:03Z Assorted links from week18, 2024

🇪🇺 Andreas post is a kinda perfect follow up for my US observations above: Dear Europe, please wake up – eu/acc. I share his feeling below:

Europe is special to me as I consider myself a proud European, but damn we need to talk.

I am equally extremely bull-ish on Europe and equally extremely bear-ish.

🚴 like Taylor, I bike everyday, under any weather -kids included- so taking this as an example for his comfort ≠ happiness made me smile: Any sacrifice for comfort is a waste.

Public Domain: Roman Odintsov/Pexels
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2106983 2024-05-01T04:43:00Z 2024-05-02T14:26:19Z A few observations following my latest US trip

I spent 2 weeks in the US last month -first in NYC and then in SF. I've been surprised by a few things. In no particular order:

🌎 immigrants are everywhere. Like somewhere else you can meet them in low-status jobs but unlike somewhere else you also meet them at every other layer of the society -all the way to the top; and whatever that 'top' would mean exactly, you'll meet immigrants there. This is so empowering. I remember the story of a brown couple living in Paris for 15 years, they loved the city and their lives over there but when their kids were teenagers they realised that the only examples for them of people with the same color skin were in the kebab restaurants so they left. They now live in Boston. Their kids can still meet people with the same color skin in local restaurants of course, but also as researchers, big company manager, startup CEO, politicians, journalists, you name it.

Portals of the Past from the San Francisco Chronicle
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2106858 2024-04-30T12:24:48Z 2024-04-30T12:26:20Z Analog activities and their impact on happiness

When do I feel the happiest? I'm actually not sure 'happy' is the right word here. Maybe it's closer to 'feeling at peace', 'feeling complete', 'whole', a deep sense of 'calm and serenity'. I still choose 'happy' because there is a layer of joy, adrenaline sometimes, a genuine feeling of fulfillment.

Going back to the question itself, well, the straight-forward and instinctive answer is: playing with my kids, alone time with Mathilde, deep discussions with people -sometimes animated but not necessarily, building stuff -which might imply deep and animated talks with my co-founders, exploring outside, skateboarding, boxing, distraction-free reading -good coffee not optional. I could go on for hours. Typical example being: I hate running -the activity itself- but I would 100% put 'running with Mathilde' up there in the list of moments where I feel the happiest. I don't golf but again, I would 100% put all the mornings I spent with my grand-father 20 years ago on a golf court up there in the list. I'm not a foodie but again, well, you get the point.

Photography by Alisha Jucevic | For The Times
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2106621 2024-04-29T04:42:21Z 2024-04-29T04:42:22Z Assorted links from week16 to 17, 2024

⭐️ the title itself stopped me in my tracks: “getting too good at the wrong thing”. Nat is highlighting one of the big traps of modern lives. The opening sentence says it plainly:

I worry that some of the best writers of our generation are stuck making tweets and newsletters.

I worry of the same thing in entrepreneurship.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2103757 2024-04-15T09:27:33Z 2024-04-15T09:27:33Z Assorted links from week15, 2024

Many great interviews last week 👇

🪴 between Brian -from Frontier- and David and Sarah from Terremoto, the Los Angeles– and San Francisco–based landscape design firm. “A garden or landscape is a process, not a product.

Platform Park, Los Angeles. Image courtesy Terremoto.
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2102354 2024-04-09T03:40:43Z 2024-04-14T17:17:43Z Working like Jean-Michel

As far as I remember, I've always loved Jean-Michel Basquiat's work. Something from his world touched me deeply. The apparent chaos, the multiple layers of reading, the proliferation of messages, the raw material of the streets as his canvas -- all of these resonated deeply with me from a very young age. As a skateborder, all of this looked like my environment. I got his crown tattooed on my front arm. 

A Panel of Experts
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2102078 2024-04-08T08:58:45Z 2024-04-08T08:58:45Z Assorted links from week11 to 14, 2024

👧👦 the title says it all and Mariana is delivering an extremely important read. It’s not for parents only. Why children need risk, fear, and excitement in play.

What kids are dying from today are mainly car crashes and suicides, not playing outside unsupervised with friends. Parents are worrying about the wrong causes of injuries and harm. In fact, the very strategies that parents use to try to keep their children safe – driving them around, maximizing supervision, and minimizing freedom – are unintentionally increasing the likelihood of injuries and even death.

The solutions are both simple and hard. We know what children need to thrive. The three key ingredients necessary for thriving play environments are Time, Space, and Freedom.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2095766 2024-03-11T05:23:24Z 2024-03-11T05:23:24Z Assorted links from week10, 2024

🌀 There some extremely meaningful pieces of wisdom in this 40 life lessons I know at 40 by Mark Manson. #40: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE is quite powerful:

A friend of mine once told me a story about his grandmother. He said that when her husband died, she was 62 and for the first time in her life, she began to take piano lessons.

For weeks, she practiced all day, every day.

At first, the family thought it was just a phase, a way for her to process her grief. But months went by and she continued to play every day.

People started to wonder if she was crazy or something was wrong with her. They told her to give it up, face reality. But she kept going.

By the time she was in her 90s, she’d been playing piano every day for over 30 years, longer than most professional musicians have been alive. She had mastered all of the classics—Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi.

Everyone who heard her play swore that she must have been a concert pianist in her youth. No one believed her when she said that she took her first lesson in her 60s.

I love this story because it shows that even at an impractical old age, you still have more time left to learn something than most professionals at that thing have even been alive.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2094495 2024-03-05T05:06:53Z 2024-03-05T05:06:54Z Kids playground inside trains

While 'Le Monde' [big french newspaper] was publishing a 'no kids zone' article two weeks ago, we were in Switzerland and discovered a whole kids playground inside their train. A proper family dream on wheels.

Exploring the moon as an astronaut, diving into a jungle wilderness or experiencing the world of dinosaurs – there is no boredom during a train ride in Switzerland. All InterCity double-deck trains are equipped with a jungle style family coach marked “FA”. Mid-upper deck, these offer a playground with fanciful jungle motives for children to play and frolic around as much as they please. Additionally, exciting board games such as “Jungle Hunt” and “Snake Game” have been installed on the upper decks of family coaches. The playing pieces for those board games can be obtained from SBB restaurant/bistro.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2094244 2024-03-04T05:02:59Z 2024-03-04T05:05:58Z Assorted links from week9, 2024

💼 Hermės story is unique and Acquired did an awesome job to encapsulate it. Stewarded by one French family over six generations, Hermès sells the absolute pinnacle of the French luxury dream.

My own relationship with Hermès started very early since my mom’s best friend when I was young [from my 5 to 12 year old] was working in the atelier near Lyon, France where they were making silk scarves.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2093488 2024-02-29T05:09:10Z 2024-03-05T04:34:50Z Car uniform anyone?

I spent last week in Zermatt with the kids, Mathilde and some friends. I'm lucky enough a close school friend of mine has a flat over there. This little swiss town is amazingly beautiful. Constantly dominated by the Matterhorn.

Photo from Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash
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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2093070 2024-02-27T14:27:27Z 2024-02-27T14:58:02Z Assorted links from week8, 2024

🚗 I almost cried reading this manifesto: the car will be unbundled. And - obviously - I can’t agree more with the conclusion.

This manifesto is a call to use our superpower to make moving better.

Better by getting there happier, healthier and more in harmony.

In harmony with our environment and with each other.

👕 I’ve followed Bobby for my time in LA more than a decade ago now. So reading him talking about the power of ‘enough’ made me truly, genuinely, happy. Because yes, this is something we hope to spread more with Objet too.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2090789 2024-02-19T14:43:01Z 2024-02-19T14:43:01Z Assorted links from week7, 2024

♟ Because we might all be status-seeking monkey anyway [as suggested by Eugene in Status as a Service] and because “at the same time, taste games are supposed to be human nature.” This post is definitely a must-read: Taste Games.

⚜️ Found out this wonderful manifesto lately: a call for friction in digital culture.

With movement comes friction. The more we move and act, the more friction we encounter. The more friction there is, the more we engage and care. Friction drives our engagement. Friction, in this context, is neither synonymous with anger or conflict, nor is it malfunctioning technology. Friction is an essential ingredient that makes up our humanness and sparks human connection. Friction is thus a lively, intrinsic experience.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2087937 2024-02-12T05:04:33Z 2024-02-12T05:04:55Z Assorted links from week6, 2024

🆕🛒 That one feels very special to me. Alongside my partners in crime Max and Mathilde we published LE NEW CONSUMER” manifesto. With Objet we are working on a joyful system that will enhance and reward new consumers’ behaviours and actions, online and offline. This mission is thrilling. And huge. We won’t do this alone.

It’d mean the world to me if you’re signing this manifesto [if it resonates of course]. CO-SIGN.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2086395 2024-02-08T05:51:33Z 2024-02-08T05:51:33Z LEGO, long-term, and the cockroaches

I read something yesterday mentioning LEGO and their exceptional rebound, 20 years after being near bankrupt when they were close to 1 billion dollars in debt. I instantly thought: they deserve their spot in the cockroaches page. Which then sent me back down the memory lane and their incredibly rich story.

Memory lane cause we spent a day at Legoland in The Hague last Xmas. The kids loved the place, obviously. Mathilde and I were disappointed but I'd say it's more because we were expected something more 'grandiose' - a la Disneyland - than just the space not being cool. It still reminded us countless hours of playing with bricks coming from our parents childhood. Our own kids are now crazy about it. I spent a few hours the other day building with them a 15-bedroom house for all their super-heroes toys.

A few month ago we spent a weekend at some very close friends house and the guy is still obsessed with LEGO. He got a whole collection of old cars, sport ones, the Millennium Falcon and other artefacts in his basement, proudly displayed next to his collection of wine. It's pretty impressive.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2085562 2024-02-06T05:29:20Z 2024-02-06T05:29:20Z Assorted links from week5, 2024

👧👦 It feels like I’ve been on a ‘kids spree’ lately. Maybe this is the ‘I want to be a better Dad’ thought kicking in. It started with Henrik’s great recommendation — following my own ‘Our relationship to children’ — Derek Sivers asking: Who is parenting really for?

Because I realized that the parenting things I do for him are also for myself. And that’s an idea worth sharing.

PG detail some of the lies we [adults] tell kids. He starts with ‘Protection’:

If you ask adults why they lie to kids, the most common reason they give is to protect them. And kids do need protecting. The environment you want to create for a newborn child will be quite unlike the streets of a big city.

That theme fits perfectly with Etienne’s take on ‘risky play’. I can’t agree more with him when he writes:

society has moved towards an overabundance of caution around kids

I do have many stories to tell here. I also think there is an asymmetry of caution between the physical and online world.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2083429 2024-02-01T05:49:07Z 2024-02-01T05:57:16Z Children of the Internet

Since kids go to school only in the morning on Wednesdays, my routine is to drop them off and then head to a nice coffee shop in the neighborhood before picking them up and heading back home to have lunch. I really like spending some time observing people in the coffee. And everytime, I'm quite disturbed by the omnipresence of our smartphones.

Typically yesterday, due to noise that was bothering me and a few loud discussions I didn't want to follow, I took out the earpods and started listening to music. While doing it, I realised how I was [intentionally in that case] disconnecting myself from the surroundings. I was putting myself in a 'physical bubble'.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2079432 2024-01-31T05:10:37Z 2024-02-22T19:34:58Z Our relationship to children

Two weeks ago my oldest had some fever. Result is he didn't go to school and stayed at home with us. Since Mat went to Paris I was alone with both kids on Thursday. We dropped the youngest at school and then, I spent the whole day with the oldest. There were many scenarios for this specific day. The most common one being: putting the kid under the 'digital nanny' supervision -- aka movies on the laptop -- and trying to work as much as possible in the meantime.

I chose another one: dropping everything I 'had to' do for work and spend the whole day playing, discussing, cooking, exploring with him. We're still early 2024 but I can tell this was my best day of the year so far.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2082550 2024-01-30T05:00:02Z 2024-01-30T05:20:32Z Assorted links from week4, 2024

I decided lately to bookmark the best pieces of content I was coming across. You can find everything in this collection on Sublime.

🎶 Yancey talks about Pitchfork, music criticism, and culture after prestige in The prestige recession.

Instead, art and culture have been safely neutralized as interchangeable commercial objects just like everything else. […]

At its best, cultural criticism is love and art that exists to give love to other expressions of art. It’s beautiful in its indulgence. A positive feedback loop that gives everybody exactly what they desire. Gods, scribes, muses, an audience, a culmination. This is what we want out of art. Something that feels grand, meaningful, connected to the ages. That doesn’t happen on its own. It needs context, dedicated space, deeper knowledge, appreciation.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2078909 2024-01-22T04:44:21Z 2024-02-05T23:14:49Z Assorted links from week3, 2024

I come across a lot of content during the week. I detailed some of my habits in how I read. I decided lately to bookmark the best pieces. So if you're curious or want to dig more, you can everything in this collection on Sublime.

✈️ Mat gives some backstory about her, Max and I and how our relationship with obects got impacted by our lifestyle during the past 15 years: 18 moves across 4 continents. Which also lead to Objet at the end.

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Kevin Straszburger
tag:k7v.in,2013:Post/2076368 2024-01-17T05:51:00Z 2024-02-01T19:24:19Z What I've read in 2023

I don't really remember why exactly I started such a list back in the day but it is now a ritual I'm eager to go through. It makes me reflect on the past year through unexpected ways and discover some hidden trends about me, or see the impact of some changes in my life. Previous years are here: 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Numbers wise it goes like this: read 21 books in 2019, 26 in 2020, 28 in 2021, 30 in 2022, and 31 in 2023. Last year being still fresh in my mind, I do remember last quarter was more challenging. I was at 24 books read by the end of August -- typically I read 6 books in 2 months during my summer in the US -- and then only 7 between Sept. and Xmas. Which is not that big of a deal in terms of number or anything, just a reminder to me than the last 4 months of the year, back home, with both kids back to school, were more agitated than planned initially.

I detailed how I read recently. I start 2024 with a little change: no more online reading during weekends; magazines only. I'm loving this already.

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Kevin Straszburger