Contemporary Reading

Monday, November 14, 2022

Last week, encouraged by national book reviews, I purchased books from Amazon. This time, skipping my usual choice of hard-back versions, I went for Kindle downloads.

I grasped that my reading style has changed!

I love hardcovers and as an avid reader could “live in” books. I used to be an armchair expert on the works and lives of Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickinson. For years, my brain was full of mid-Nineteenth Century British and American cultures, and the limiting gender-based discrimination. Role limits confronted those creative and talented women causing wonder about what more they’d have achieved had cultures allowed.

After turning from those personal studies, I focused on current and more open social views. I pursued the writings of contemporary talented women, with evidence of my interests printed on the bindings of books filling my bookcases. Those bindings served doubly to remind me of past reads, which sometimes I re-read.

In a bedroom “reading nook” I could relax, hold an actual book and become lost. To my eventual confusion, something changed. I quit reading but continued to purchase books, leaving them unread in stacks. Maybe because after long resisting, I was adapting to reading online.

I don’t prefer reading online but increasingly do. Today’s ultra-communicating world makes reading online quickly informative. Also, I’m searching for better ways of managing time and energy. My cellphone has a Kindle app, is always in my pocket or my hand. In the most spare moments, Kindle is readable from wherever I am.

A bound book makes reading a luxurious experience. One can page back, re-read, and consider how past passages connect with those ahead. In contrast, online reading encourages rapid processing. While selecting last week’s book versions, I doubted if online reading would have revealed the immense power of Bronte and Dickinson as did my hardcover reads.

Dear Friends: The Universe in occasionally identifiable ways moves us onward. Diana

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