Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Long and Short of It

The Short Story: 
Technology ruined my love of reading.

The Long Story:
I used to read for pleasure
even as a young girl
every Nancy Drew mystery
devoured and savoured
taking me away to an adventure

as I got older
my taste in books changed
but I still enjoyed reading
even through the tedious 'must read classics' for school
(please let William Shakespeare rest in peace...)

then came technology
instant messaging
the demand and expectations for IMMEDIATE replies

and now paper replaced by electronic media
much better for the environment
(though much harder to lay in the bathtub to read)
and truly not much cheaper to purchase
what's up with that?

I haven't read for pleasure for years
I can't remember the last book I read
I downloaded a book onto my ipad
almost 2 years ago and am stopped at chapter 3
it's an interesting book but...

it takes too much reading to read a book
remember 'back in the day' when we used to be
so excited to receive a written letter?
eager for communication we would linger over each word
savouring the the pages...

OK...I don't really remember that
but I do watch a lot of Jane Austen movies
written words were cherished back then
now there are emails, texting, instant messaging
thousands of short messages creating shorter attention spans

I cringe when someone asks me for my cell phone number
why do you need that? my cell is for emergency purposes only
I have a home phone number you know
oh...actually I don't really like talking on the phone...
face-to-face conversation is a lost art...

my most unfavorite? texting
I hate texting - can't stand it - try to avoid it
the demand for an instant reply - unbearable
OK...yes...please feel free to continue sending me
via text messaging funny cat photos

but sending cat photos is different isn't it?
a necessity if you will...
and no reading needed
unless it's lolcats - don't send me lolcats
too much reading - why would a cat want 'cheezburgers'?

this post is now much too long for me to have to re-read
to check my spelling and grammar - so I won't
I have to save the rest of my attention span
to catch up on my blog reading
clearly audio books are my only hope...


Lin said...

Oh, I LOVE a handwritten note...or letter. I miss those. I still have every single letter Joe wrote to me while we were dating (he lived out of town). I still try to write a handwritten note every so often.

I'm with you about the phone--I don't like phone calls anymore and I don't want to "chat" on the phone with anyone. I do like a text the point...move on....

I will disagree with books--I LOVE my Kindle. I thought I wouldn't, but I really like that I can finish one book and get another quickly. I find that I read more. They are also conducive to lying with a cat on your chest, petting the cat with one hand, flipping pages with the other--something you can't do with a real book.

Jane Austen? Two words: Pride and Prejudice. OMG.

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for the laughs!!

love that: it takes too much reading to read a book. :D

Sandra said...

I am the oppostie, there is never a day i don't read at least 2 hours. i read 2 to 3 books every week. in the past 18 months i have read over 300 books. i know that because that is when i got my Kindle and have downloaded 389 books, all but 10 of those were free books.... about 40 from the library... i started reading at age 5 and have never stopped. i don't text don't have a cell phone. i email and blog and i hate talking on the phone...
i also wihs the cell phone had never been invented. people are rude talking in public places and many times i have narrowly missed a head on collision from cell phone drivers. there is no need to talk while shopping for oranges or clothes, or heaven forbid my friend meeting me for lunch and spending 10 minute on the cell phone while i eat.
I love all things technical, but if i had to give up electronics, the one thing i would keep is my kindle....

Fuzzy Tales said...

I used to read more than I do now, but I think it's simply because by the time I get home from work and attend to the cats (okay, that's never-ending), do the other house chores, eat, clean up, etc., it's time for bed. Weekends aren't any better, trying to keep up with the general "life stuff" one has to do.

I have an old cell phone to call taxis when I'm out (if needed) and for emergency use. I don't text.

I've donated most of my paperback books and use my Kobo exclusively now. I sometimes miss the feel of paper, of pages turning, but the ability to enlarge text and to store many books on one device outweighs that for me, surprisingly. (I got the e-reader in November 2012, my first one.)

My gripe about e-books is that they ARE expensive, as much as paper books if they're new releases, and that's absurd. I don't buy them, unless it's an author I truly love and book I want right away.

All that "said," it's still lovely to receive a handwritten note or card in the mail. It's very rare, but such a treat. :-)

Crafting Queen said...

Love the honesty of your post. Like you I loved to read when I was younger but in recently years did not make time for it. Recently found the Katharine Kerr series of fantasy novels and could not put them down. Need to find a new series to get stuck into. I love real book. Hope you find one that you just can't put down! Sending hugs to Banjo. :)

Vanessa Morgan said...

I actually read more since I have my Kindle. It's easy to tag along a 'book' and I read a few pages whenever I have to wait somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I also LOVE to read...but have so little time now that I'm having to schedule in reading time! And NO electronic device will ever replace the smell and feel of an old leather bound book! It's like pork rinds to caviar. As for cell phones...yeah, I've seen people at work sit at the same table at lunch and text each other instead of talk. I can live without them.

Donna said...

I still read paper books I will never lose that luxury so when you lay down your career someday (because you are very young yet) you may not be so absorbed in technology I don't like texting and hate it when someone wants to turn the text into an onngoing conversation . The sun is out here in Regina yay! And a morning walk is next once these little annoying moving adjustments are done I may look for a job ???? Take care Catherine!

Betsy Adams said...

We have alot in common, Canada gal, besides our interest in staying healthy!!! I don't read either ---never have enjoyed reading. I am a 'tell me about it' or 'show me a picture' person!!!! I do READ --but only things of interest such as health stuff, genealogy, etc....

I also despise talking on the phone. Our cell is for personal stuff --and I just don't give it out to businesses, etc...

However, I do love texting --since that is the only way I can talk to my sons these days!!! ha

Have a great day, my Friend.

Linda R said...

The Last couple of books I have read have been Paperback books that friends have given me to read.. I love to get lost in a good book. I LOVE real books but I do love my reading on my ipad just as much.. I can make the print bigger for my old eyes..

I am with you on the TEXTING.. I am so bad at it. In fact I probably have a couple of text I haven't replied to right now. YIKES..

Happy Wednesday my friend..


Brian said...

Yep, reading used to be fundamental and now it doesn't seem fun and takes a lot of mental!

Victoria Howell said...

Seriously girl, you just need to unplug.

I don't text. I don't twitter. I don't facebook.

I do email. I also read REAL books - they never need recharging! Furthermore, they are free from the library. And, guess what? All my friends, family and co-workers still like me.

More importantly, I like me this way. Unhurried, simple. Try it.

Just so you know - I'm a professional graphics designer working in publishing. I am very digital.

Come on, try it. It will be the next new "fad". Unpluggin'

It's me said...

I love to read real no ipad books...for from me...x !

Tamago said...

I have a mixed feeling toward technology. I have hard time reading books on electronic devise. Definitely prefer paper form. And I'm totally with you about talking on the phone. I prefer face-to-face conversation. But at the same time, it's convenient if I can just send text and don't have to talk. Haha. Oh, sending cat photos is definitely a necessity :-)

Carolynn Anctil said...

I don't think I'll ever tire of reading books. That said, I do love the old fashioned (did I just use that term...?) paper variety. I USED to love my Kindle, but there has been a mess-up with my information and it won't let me download new books anymore, so we're not on speaking terms, at the moment. That would never happen at a bookstore. I have just discovered audiobooks and am now in the habit of listening to them while I work in my studio. They're free and I can enjoy two of my favourite things, at once. Multi-tasking at its best.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Oh yeah...and a few friends and I are resurrecting the lost art of the handwritten letter. It's wonderful to get an unexpected 'gift' in the mail among all the flyers and bills. I love it, although I will say, postage is getting wildly expensive.

Becca said...

Interesting post. I'm still just torn with it all! I was at the book store yesterday and almost purchased a book that I knew I had the free sample of on my iPad and could just wait and see if I like it, but there's just something about the feel of books. I read both and have been enjoying some great fiction lately. Texting? Well, I'm afraid I have slipped into the forever doom of it, and love it's convenience. My charge nurse "texts" me to ask if I can work…I don't want to talk to her…this way I can look at my calendar and think about it before replying. Oh, and I love an occasional texting with Linda…yea, I know what she said, but since she is on the road, it's been a nice way to communicate a photo, something funny, etc. When I don't here from her in a while, I know it's because she doesn't like it. Ha! Enjoy your day! I have to go see if I got any texts from work. Ha!

Pantherka said...

Wonderful and beautifully written :-)

Ann said...

I do more reading now since I got my kindle. I love that thing and don't know if I could go without it. I don't buy books though, I only read free ones.
Now the phone is a whole other story. I don't like cell phones or texting. I rarely use my phone

Willow said...

This is just too funny ~ the part about the books seems the same here as well. Oh how I use to hang on every word of those Nancy Drew Mysteries as a kid sitting under a tree in the woods with the dog .

sharon said...

I know what you mean on text. I tell my daughter who is in college. "Call the boy" I can't I don't know what to say" yet they text like crazy. I don't get it.

Lisa Gordon said...

How you make me smile!!!
I so enjoyed reading this, Catherine.
Thank you!

SquirrelQueen said...

You are so funny!
I used to read all the time but then life got busy for awhile and books stayed closed. Now I love to read on my tablet and find that I enjoy electronic books more than hard copy ones.

I do text, it is more convenient for my volunteer contacts. And I probably would be lost without my smart phone although I rarely use it for voice conversations.

BeadedTail said...

Hahaha! Too long to re-read! You're funny! :) I love to read and have a book on our tablet but have yet to read it since my husband is already reading some book on it. I text a lot and used to hate it but it's so quick it makes it easy to say what I need. Plus I can 'talk' to my hubby while he's at work that way!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Catherine,
In most of those points I agree 100% as I too have been an avid reader till several years ago. Can't even enjoy a magazine and only subscribe to one at the moment. Reading blogs is far better than most magazines; minus the advertising (on most blogs...).
Yes, it is true that shorter attention span and not always better than it used to be!

Linens and Royals said...

I have been an avid ready all my life. Since I first learned to I tend to panic if I haven't got a book nearby so I can disappear into someone else's life. I just love the feel of books so could never have a kindle. Books are the first things I pack for holidays and a trip to the library is my favourite time out.
I hate to give my mobile# out as it might actually ring,then I would have to find it. I struggle with my blog so facebook, twitter etc. are out.
Now my reply is too long. XX

Penelope's Beehive said...

I must admit that I have always had a love affair with books...beginning as a wee mum and I would spend an hour reading together every afternoon.
Alas, I have not jumped headlong into technology...opting for "real" books discovered at book and antique sales. I find the scent of the paper, and the beauty of words pressed onto paper quite intoxicating.
No matter how you may encounter the printed word...on paper or a screen...I wish you much joy on the adventure!
Sending hugs your way...

Susan said...

I love to read, like you I read every Nancy Drew book that came along. I'd use my babysitting money to buy them. I have a kindle now, and I read all the time. Takes me away from all the crap.

Sylvia said...

Interesting and fun post, Catherine, I know what you mean !
I prefer reading books in my comfort seat, enjoying a good cup of coffee ... :-)
Have a great weekend,

Bobbybegood1 said...

Long overdo conversation. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION in all its mediums is a lost art. It has gotten so bad - people do not know how to talk "with" one another anymore. And forget about writing skills, filling out applications, interviewing. Oh, here's one lost skill - knowing the difference between signature and print. I used to work in substance abuse and my some of my clients (grown folk) could not even recognize the word signature - they would print their names. Whew! Anywho, I love to read. Have a great weekend. Cheers!!

Sabi Sunshine said...

I love reading too but barely get a chance to read for pleasure. My reading time would night time while taking bubble bath :)

Penny said...

I think I learn something new about you every time I read your blog. I always took you for a reader. I love to read...maybe not so much my new textbooks that are sitting in front of me but I love reading for fun. Now, I must agree with texting...hate, hate, hate it...only do it because that is the way most people like to communicate and why am I typing all of this won't read it!

Terra said...

I enjoy hand written letters and cards sent in the mail, and books printed on paper. I still prefer to read print books but do read some on my ebook reader. Ok, I admit, I adore reading! The two books I wrote are both published in paper format. I agree with you about texting, ugh.

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

I actually do miss emails, but I never have been on the receiving end of too many letters. I am an avid reader, but my eyesight has gotten so bad that I can't read any of my paperbacks anymore and have to rely on my kindle...which upsets me to no end because I can't afford to replace all of my favorite books with ebooks. I had a point here, but I have completely forgotten it. Oh well.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Ha-ha! I read every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on when I was about 12. :) I like to read but usually only during the summer, when I have more time, and am not pulled in other directions. I like texting because it is how I keep in touch with my college boy but I am not addicted to technology or connected 24/7 like some folks. I don't think I could ever read an entire book through a screen. I still like to hold the real thing in my hands. I still love going to bookstores. I don't want technology to be the only choice, that's for sure. Best wishes, Tammy

Naturegirl said...

Right on girl with your feelings!
I don't text. I don't twitter. I don't facebook. So much pressure to join in! I must admit since getting an iPad a yr. Ago I have ignored books, reading, blogging, I am glued to this little white screen for hours!
Great post. Food for thought also reading your guest comments!

Barbara Radisavljevic said...

This so describes me, except that I still read paper books and ebooks when I have time. I resisted the Kindle until I was about to have surgery and have to live in a chair for few weeks. Kindles are better in the hospital. And when you read while eating, if you have a stand.

They are horrible to navigate when you want to find something fast. Nothing beats flipping the pages of a paper book with a real index for that.

Thanks for a fun read.


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