Oh, How I’ve Missed Books
Books are the beer bongs of knowledge and entertainment.
I finally did it. A few weeks ago, I broke down and bought a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. I have to wear reading glasses to read and I had been struggling to read for years with my aging eyes. I could never get the lighting the way I wanted. I couldn’t deal with the sometimes tiny fonts on the page in paper books (technical manuals are the worst). I didn’t like lugging books around, losing them, or losing my place in them. I wanted something more consistent for my middle-aged eyes and brains. So on a whim with a little hope, I got a Kindle eReader.
Since I got it, I’ve been reading books again. I just finished a 700-page book by Michael Hudson. I’m working on another one of his books. I just discovered that I can check out eBooks from my public library. I found Split Infinity by Piers Anthony as an eBook for $4 on Amazon (then they jacked up the price of the remaining books).
At least now, I can get a consistent reading experience. I can adjust the font, the lighting, and my seating position with greater ease. The battery lasts for weeks. I can read in the dark. The kindle is waterproof so I can read in the tub without worrying about dropping the book. I can read without hand fatigue. I don’t have to worry about spilling anything on it on the dining table. I can read something without ads.
I got hooked on the internet many years ago. I forsake books because I wanted to read something current and I thought books were stale and frozen. I read blogs. I read the news. I read articles about technology. I used the internet to solve many of the problems I have encountered since I got started on the internet around 1993. Somewhere along the line, I just lost interest in books.
When I started reading “…and Forgive Them Their Debts”, I began to remember that books are concentrated stores of knowledge. I remembered that both of my parents read lots of history. I remembered that books have no commercials, they have perfect audio fidelity through my inner voice (I’m hard of hearing), and books change the way that I think about things. Books are mental programming.
I’ve found books to be like a beer bong of knowledge and entertainment. They run for as long as I want them to run. Books don’t have commercials (at least not yet on the Kindle), so there are no ads to ignore or look around. eBooks are portable, too. I can read them on multiple devices and pick up where I left off on the last page I read on any device.
The biggest difference between reading the internet and reading books is mental focus. I’ve found (again) that reading books helps me to discipline my mind to focus my attention on learning. Reading a book for 30–60 minutes at a time disciplines my mind again for focused attention and makes me more aware of my reading habits. Books are free of distractions like notifications and beeps and ringtones. And the most interesting thing I found about reading books again is that they inspire me to write.
Reading stimulates my mind to write more words. I found that as I got interested in reading books, I got more interested in writing, I get more ideas about what to write about, and I get excited about that. It’s a virtuous circle.
So if you’re visually impaired, you may find that an electronic book reading device like a Kindle, can assist your reading. If you are hearing impaired like me, you may find that reading a book makes more sense than reading subtitles in a movie. And if you’re looking for inspiration for writing ideas, read a book.