I remember spending the summers at my grandparents’ cabin on the lake in Maine. I would choose a classic novel from their bookcase with the goal of finishing it before the week was out. Cuddling up with a book like Moby Dick made my imagination go wild wondering if there were any white whales in our lake. The cabin didn’t have any electricity or cell phone service. Just a gas generator to light up the living room long enough in the evening to finish off a chapter or two and play a few games of Yahtzee. When the generator ran dry, it was time for bed. And oh, the excitement when the sun came up so I could read what happened next to Captain Ahab!
I’m probably dating myself, but I grew up in the 70s before the handheld technology revolution. But still yet, I associate reading a book with vacations and sultry, quiet evenings sipping lemonade. And I always buy a new book to enjoy on the airplane flight, road trip, or beach.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the queen of Facebook and a regular contributor to TripAdvisor. I keep my iPad close and my Smartphone even closer. But nothing irks me more than watching a family at a restaurant head first into their electronic devices. My family took a trip earlier this year and hiked several canyons. The scenery was breathtaking, the air was fresh, and we were exploring places we had never seen before. But everywhere we looked we saw children playing video games on phones and watching videos from the back seats of their parents’ minivan, oblivious to nature’s glory just inches from their electronic screens.
Summer is winding down and school will be starting soon. It’s the perfect time to settle in with a good read before reality sets in. Visit a local bookstore and buy a book. Forget the Kindle and get a real book with pages that you can turn. Or visit a library and rent several books. I guarantee it will take you back to your childhood when you pass through the doors and get a whiff of all that paper. Better yet, ask to borrow a book from a friend. This is a great tip if it’s been a while and you don’t know where to begin. It’s also a ploy to get you started since you will eventually need to return the book.
In this world where binge-watching a Netflix series has become the norm, try putting down the remote and Smartphone and pick up a book. Read at your own pace, take naps along the way, and open up your mind better than any film or video game can do. I promise, you won’t regret it.