Life Finds A Way

28 Nov Life Finds A Way

Reading broadens your mind. All of you bookworms know this, so I’m not sharing anything significant. But it is good to remember this about yourself as a reader.

Even if you read about something you 100% disagree with, you are allowing your mind to take it in and are acknowledging the differences that exist in the world around you.

This awareness is a good thing. It makes you more relatable to be able step outside your daily bubble.

This week has been all about featuring non-fiction books I hope to read in the somewhat near future.

This weekly theme of non-fiction is part of the

reading challenge. I’m continuing with this theme this week, but something else came to mind, so I thought I’d write about it today.

I follow a blog run by a lady who’s called @TheBookJotter. Every weekend she posts tons of great, relevant, and just plain interesting book-related articles. I always look forward to her posts.

Last weekend she posted an article by Katie Heany titled, Sadly I Like Reading Books on My Phone Now. The link to the article is below.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/11/sadly-i-like-reading-on-my-phone-now.html

Heany’s article has stayed with me all week. So much so that it prompted this very post.

Heany wrote about the ability as a child to sit and read for hours, but as an adult she nods off to sleep after reading for twenty minutes. She began reading on her phone and realized the light helped her read for much longer periods— more so than even reading on her Kindle. She still prefers the smell and feel of a physical book, but ultimately her phone has provided the most “bang for her buck,” or however that saying goes.

One line in particular that stood out to me from Heany’s article was, “I’m very worried about reading enough books before I die.”

I’m not worried about reading enough books, but rather there are SO many books I want to read before I go. Her statement most closely matches how I feel and is one I had never seen in print before her article.

Where I fall on the spectrum of reading in non-traditional formats is this: I will read however allows me the most time to be engaged in a book.

Obviously before digital reading became a thing there was no other way—could we have even imagined the vast array of e-readers that exist today? I couldn’t. My first Kindle was the second generation version. It still had a full keyboard, no backlight, and was much larger than the ones available today. At that time, Overdrive/Libby did not exist and there was no way to read unless you purchased a book. Do you remember way back when Amazon controlled the pricing and no e-book could be more than $9.99? Ah—the good old days, sort of. I’ll take the publishers controlling the pricing, only because we have library access now.

Currently I read on the Kindle Paperwhite. The backlight, long battery-life, and access to the library has made this the most accessible way to read most of the time. I can’t say that I miss holding and reading from an actual book, because I still do that. I still keep one of those relics (I use “relics” quite endearingly, so don’t take that as snarky sarcasm) going, I just don’t always take it with me because of space. The size of my Kindle reminds me of a paperback, which is my favorite traditional-reading size/style.

The access to library books was a game changer for e-reading. As much as technology is an all-consuming monster most of the time (in MY opinion), this is an area that evolved naturally and was truly needed in today’s world.

Moving on to the next format of reading—The phone.

This makes me cringe a little, so let me explain.

For the most part I hate smartphones. I realize the convenience and safety factors of having one, but these two things can also be provided by, gasp, a flip-phone. Before creating this blog (via my smartphone) several months ago, I really was considering going back to a flip-phone. I do like and appreciate the ease of some smartphone capabilities. Looking up a recipe in a pinch and having an amazing camera are two features that I do love and use frequently. It is nice to not lug a cookbook and a camera around.

What I don’t love is walking in to any room or space and everyone is glued to a tiny palm-held screen. I’ve been guilty of this, but not to the degree of what I see whenever I go out. It’s a rare thing to see someone waiting somewhere without being attached to a phone. I get the idea of using waiting time to send an email, work, etc. Even playing a game, do whatever you want, truly. I guess if I’m getting to the heart of my distaste, it’s this: most people are simply scrolling through the endless bs that is social media. It’s an addiction to scroll mindlessly whenever there is a spare moment. Prove me wrong—please. Next time you are in a line, see if you can creep and see what someone is looking at on their phone, then keep a mental tally. We all know the studies about the negative effects of social media, but most people just brush those aside, “knowing” they are not the addicted ones.

Alright—rant aside, this is where the third reading format comes in.

Reading a book on my phone is something I had tried in the past. I didn’t love it because I had my Kindle. For the record, I still prefer my Kindle for e-reading,

BUT,

my phone is easier to carry on me and read, for the most part, inconspicuously. I say that because it genuinely seems more excepted and expected to just scroll through Facebook or shop for something. I can casually pull my phone out and read a page or two, but look as though I’m just glancing at an email or social media. There isn’t really a difference in the sense that reading a book or doing something else on your phone pulls you away from whatever you were doing. The real difference is that even though you might be reading 2-3 lines of a stupid status update, if you openly admitted to be reading 2-3 lines in a book, that is judged differently. It’s more along the lines of whipping out a big sketchbook and drawing something real quick while you wait for your next appointment—not the most efficient use of time, and sort of obnoxious to most people.

I recently began a new job that is requiring a lot more of my time. I like the job, I’m not begrudging that. I’m begrudging the toll it’s taking on my reading time.

That’s life—I get it. As much as being an adult and working full-time is a necessary part of life, we all still have things that we make time for outside the scope of working and other responsibilities. These are the things that keep us sane. My two things are reading and exercise. For obvious purposes, this post is about the former.

In the last month I have read one book from cover-to-cover solely on my phone. I have started several others in this time. I hate to use the word, “sadly,” in reference to reading this way and liking it (as Heany did) only because in the whole scheme of things, it means I am still reading books. Despite all the other shit that has to get done, I’m still finding a way.

To oddly quote Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” Reading, to me, is life.

In closing, I have an apology. I’m sorry to all the people I wrongly judged who were reading books on their phones and not just scrolling mindlessly. I now honestly understand this really is a thing. We, as readers, still might be the minority (versus what most people are doing on their phones) but we are out there. I know, when I am standing somewhere reading a book on my phone, it will be assumed that I am just another person lost in their phone. While it will be true that I am lost, it’s within a book, the phone is merely the loathsome carrier. It’s a double-edged sword, but it’s one I’m willing to carry.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bookworms.

“Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait on line for Santa, or some such inconvenience.” – David Levithan

“I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.” – Patrick Rothfuss

“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.” – Voltaire

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