Today’s Reading Style:

“The Times They Are a Changing”

Books vs Magazines vs Smart Phones

I thought I was the only one who has found it hard to stick with a good book lately. I wondered why this change has occurred. I used to love to read.

Talking to my adult daughter, we were speaking on this very subject and brought up how even magazine articles feel hard to finish lately. I love flipping through the pages of good magazines; scanning the beautiful food sections, seasonal outdoor decorating and even scanning through articles that catch my attention.

Did you catch that key word? SCANNING? It seems that’s all I want to do nowadays. Years ago I came upon the word “collective consciousness” and the meaning behind it, where as multitudes start doing things a certain way, it builds up a “group consciousness”, an energy, if you will, and gathers more people to an idea or way of doing things through sheer volumes doing it, a “contagious idea”.

Everything in One Place

I see today how most everyone is very addicted to our smart phones. They’re comparable to the huge warehouse supermarkets where we can go to just one place, one stop, to find everything from pharmacy items, groceries, books and so much more.

I compare my phone to this “super store”. It has everything on it that used to come as individual items; my camera for instance. I never used my real camera much anymore and the camera on my phone takes great photos and is always on hand for those spur of the moment great photots. I eventually sold my camera.

The GPS on my phone is indispensable, a necessity nowadays. My funny husband, very old school, was lamenting on a recent road trip “we forgot the road atlas”. Yes, really! It IS nice to look at a large map and see the whole area but is also bulky to lug around.

Anyway, you get the idea. Heck, I’m even writing this blog page on my phone! It does just about everything but get up and cook dinner! (I can ask Siri to look up my favorite restaurant & order take out.)

I guess I’ve grown so attached to this little miracle in my hand, making everything available at my fingertips. I can even check my bank account and pay bills on the go. I notice I’ve become impatient with anything that can’t be done quickly.

It seems we’re all so busy keeping up in this fast paced lifestyle, I though at this stage of life things were supposed to slow down. Not so. It feels good, a quick little R&R, to sit for a minute and “zone out” on whatever application I go to on my phone vs picking up a long book with the obligatory feeling of having to finish at least one chapter.

I can think of other reasons how book-reading is falling into a lost pastime for a lot of people although I realize there are still plenty of book readers out there who will strongly disagree with me on this. Kudos to you dear souls!

It saddens me to see the younger generation preferring to be on their electronic devises rather than holing up in a corner with their nose stuck in a book. Even my four-year-old grandson would prefer his devise over my reading a beautifully illustrated children’s book to him.

A beautifully illustrated book can sweep you away to a place you want to be or inspire you to create that place in your own backyard! That is exactly what the beautifully illustrated book, “Tasha Tudor’s Gardens” did for me.

Her nineteenth-century New England lifestyle is legendary. Gardeners are especially intrigued by the profusion of antique flowers — spectacular poppies, six-foot foxgloves, and intoxicating peonies — in the cottage gardens surrounding her hand-hewn house. It speaks of how she prefers bare foot to shoes and how she, herself, hauled hundreds of daffodil bulbs in a wheelbarrow over a tricky path to get them to where she wanted them planted. She’s my hero!

I know my cell phone would not have pique’d my yearning for such a place as this nor given me the inspiration and motivation to and try to emulate this humble yet very creative woman’s lifestyle.

A Good Book Serves a Purpose

“Tasha Tudor’s Garden”

A Rebuttal to my own comments:

Do I contradict myself? I just went to my bookshelf to find a book to use as a link to Amazon Kindle books and saw those old friends, waiting patiently for me to pick them up and immerse myself within their pages as in days past.
A favorite song of mine “Back to Pooh Corner”, sums this scenario up perfectly:

I do love my favorite books and, yes, had forgotten how much I loved them. A hard copy book has the benefit to be able to highlight things that are especially meaningful to us so we can easily find them again and again.

I do see a trend pulling us away from actually reading books though to the quicker method of gathering info or pure entertainment via our smart phone but my trip to my bookcase was a great wake up call, reminding me of the wisdom found within the pages of those books I’ve read that are still dear to my heart and the value of a good, hard copy book.

Audible Books

I love the convenience of audible books while traveling, or even working around the house. I have a 45 minute commute three times a week and enjoy listening to audible books as I travel.

A good book on tape or an educational book on a subject I don’t take the time to sit and read really is a valuable alternative and driving “with nothing else to do” gives me the time to listen and learn. I’ve listened to some very good books while traveling. I’ve actually ordered a hard copy later, so I can underline pertinent parts I want to remember and use.

Amazon Kindle Bookstore

I love a good Historical Fiction novel and believe a good historical novel should contain these 3 elements:

  • It should teach us about real things even though the characters are fictitious .
  • It has to have a great story line that leads us on and we can’t wait to turn the page to see what happens next.
  • I want to pass it on to everyone I know.

I am reading the final third sequel of a book series and am trying to finish it up. It’s had all the elements listed above so, hopefully, I’ll complete this “task”… if I can put my phone down long enough!

I’m going to publish this now and add my favorite book list soon. The books on this list are books I would read again and ones I truly have enjoyed and still recall various things I read in them. Seeing them on my bookshelf brings back vivid memories of where I was, mentally or spiritually, as I read them and the personal growth that came from the wisdom I gleaned from them.

A good book stays with us forever.

Author: Mary Catherine

• Published writer that used to contribute a monthly article on any given subject to my local newspaper. I am no longer doing this and miss it. • Owned my own custom paint store, "Wild Woods". I called it "wall art" that consisted of murals, glazing, faux painting and also painting vinyl garage doors to look like wood or metal; usually copper. • Have had an interesting past 14 years living off the grid in a remote area in Southern Utah near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in a progressive community that held many informative events with guest speakers, including a number of published authors, and hands-on exercises in various self-sufficient living. No longer living there. • I have another blog about grandparenting. This is a subject near and dear to my heart nowadays. *As part of "the sandwich generation", I was caught between helping my adults kids (usually with their kids) as well as caring for an elderly parent, my mother, who was suffering from dementia. I want to do some writing on the aspect of full time care givers to people with Alzheimer's as well. I feel I have learned a lot about this. ~ What a Juggling Act! Somewhere with all those balls up in the air, my own dreams had been put on hold for too long and now, after losing my mother just recently, and my grandkids in school, I hope to rekindle them. My husband and I are super busy doing major remodeling jobs on a house we purchased two years ago as well as extensive yard work. The house and yard projects, which include the restoration of an old cottage built in the 1800's that sits on the far, back corner of our three-fourths acre lot we own are keeping us both really busy. Amidst the ongoing projects, I try to squeeze in a moment here and there to work on my blogs. Creativity has always been an essential part of who I am and when I stop doing things like this, I feel like a robot mechanically moving around, just getting the necessities done. Art, Music, Writing, Gardening, Home Interior Decorating, Water Activities like swimming and kayaking are the things I crave and try to find time to do. We have to "make it a good day"!

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