Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book and Phone

Out of nowhere and all of a sudden, I carry my cell phone with me wherever I go. For years, I had a "flip phone" that I managed to leave at home 90% of the time. (My wife will vouch for this.) Now I have a smart phone that I rarely forget to bring with me.

We can chalk this up to an old dog learning a new trick; to the gradual cementing of a new paradigm inside his fuzzy sub-consciousness. Or, we can see it as a need for entertainment that is always right at hand.

Gottfriefd Schalcken
For me, that entertainment usually amounts to a "Words with Friends" game or an exploration of the Interwebs for new and nifty musical equipment -- so, good, edifying things (right?) -- but it is entertainment, nonetheless. I'll give myself a little credit by saying that when I am waiting in line to pick up the boys after a school activity, my phone often sits by me as I watch parents in car after car hunched over their tiny screens like glowing, new-age penitents. But, I still have the thing with me everywhere I go...

So, knowing, now, that it is possible to carry a thing with me out into the world all of the time without any real effort and inconvenience, I decided I am going to try something new. I'm going to start bringing whatever book I am reading with me wherever I go. 

I never did this on a regular basis because I thought is was inconvenient. But, how much worse is it that carrying a cell phone? So, when the other parents are flipping through Facebook, I will be flipping through Steinbeck. Yeah, the phone will be there, but the book will be "metal more attractive" to a guy who lives in the world by necessity but who is always looking for ways to be not of the world. (And, in the end, I will still get the text about picking up milk...) 


  1. I sure found myself described in this post! I recently gave up my flip phone for a smartphone, and I suddenly adopted that curved, roly-poly shape with eyes affixed to the glowing screen too. It's become a challenge to not check for messages and emails when I'm simply sitting or waiting. I love your idea for taking a book with you (though mine would probably be a kindle - yet another glowing screen! :D).

    1. It is hard to resist, for sure. I feel the pull, as well. Thanks for reading!