When’s the last time you picked up a book? Not a digital rendering, but a real book with coarse pages and a musty smell. I’ve recently begun reading tangible books again, and I feel like I found something I didn’t know was lost. I didn’t know I missed the sound of the pages rubbing together or the creak of the binding. I didn’t know I missed the light weight in my hands that seemed to unburden my mind. Recently I’ve found out just how much I was missing.
In an effort to be more present with my family, in this technology driven world, I made a commitment to put my phone down. I realized how dependent I’ve become on it, especially since beginning this blog. I was spending more time on Instagram and Facebook than ever before, but I felt drained, disconnected. I’ve recently begun leaving my phone on the counter (on loud, so Yev can call me if he needs to get a hold of me), but I tend to check it every 1-2 hours now, instead of investigating every notification immediately.
Well, leaving my phone on the counter meant I needed a few more resources. I used to read consistently on my iPhone and iPad, so the first item I bought was a book on Amazon. This was the first time I had ever bought a book online. There is something special about making a purchase in a bookstore, surrounded by books, perusing the aisles. I believe you get a feeling from holding a book, examining the cover with your hands, that will let you know if it is the right match for you. I can almost always tell how I’ll feel about reading a book, even before opening the pages.
So I pulled up a book on Amazon that a friend had recommended, and right before I clicked add to cart, I noticed there was a used option. And I thought, “Hmm. I wonder what it would be like to hold someone else’s experience?” I’ve never given a book away, so it’s hard for me to understand why someone else would. I’ve lent books to friends but always with the intention of receiving them back. I read my books over and over, gleaning something different from them each time. They were more a part of me than my clothing. I’d sooner donate a favorite shirt than a favored book. Electronic versions allowed me to bring my stories with me everywhere, but I had no idea how much a tangible rendition contributed to the experience.
Being off of my phone has given me more energy, and I find I enjoy my time with my children more. Before, I consistently felt distracted because I was trying to work and take care of everyone at the same time. By separating work time and family time, I am able to deliver undivided attention to the endeavor in front of me, and I am happier for it.
The only problem is that I never know what time it is. I bought a watch, but I can never remember to look at it!