I’ve gotten into the worst habit. I used to take a book with me everywhere; carried what I was reading in my coat pocket or purse or backpack; to bed and to the bathtub; even to the kitchen to read for those few minutes it takes the water to boil. These days, I take my phone. I recently had to admit to myself that I — a lifelong book addict — could not even remember the last book I finished. How pitiful is that?
So this week I conducted an experiment. I left my phone in the car or on the kitchen counter and carried a book instead. I re-read THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES and remembered how incredibly smart the converging story lines are (I loved it even more this time through), and I’m just now on page 61 of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, which I picked up along with the others in the above stack. At a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Where I spent more than an hour without my phone.
It turns out I don’t have to see every text message the instant it comes in; I don’t have to return emails at mach ten speed; and I don’t have to follow anyone’s Twitter feed or press the “like” button. It turns out that I still need what I’ve always needed: real, live, in the flesh books. And I need to carry them with me everywhere I go.
What are you reading these days?