Turning the Page

Turning the page of a book

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”

—Chinese Proverb

Adopting new technology can help us fit into—and benefit from—an ever-changing world. Consider the millions of people who, every day, order books online. It makes good sense and there are some practical advantages: There is no need to get in your car and drive to a bookstore or library. With just the touch of a finger, you can jump right in and escape to whatever world you are seeking. Reading romance, history, or about how to do just about anything on an eBook, can fuel our imagination, fill our soul, and leave us wanting more.

But I prefer the feel of smooth pulp to the swipe of an eBook. I enjoy turning the page. There’s something magical about the touch of a book page corner. In those few seconds—as I physically turn the page—it’s as if I’ve put an open hand behind my ear and the writer has my full attention. The tactile pause draws me further into the story.

I received one of my life’s most inspirational gifts upon graduating college, a print of Homer Winslow’s, A New Novel. I have carried that print with me and hung it in my office at every job since. The painting speaks for itself. For me, it’s not about the artist’s style or technique, but the depiction of pure joy lying in the grass on a warm summer’s day, resting on a pillow, and reading a book.

I am not averse to reading eBooks. I sell my work on Amazon in digital and print form. And like most people, I am inundated with technology. Gadgets rule my life and given the option I’m not sure I could live without them. It’s a predicament.

So, what’s my problem?

It’s hard to explain to a Zoomer since they were born into a digital world. I’ve read experts recommend waiting until children are 2 before giving them digital devices, yet parents get seduced into buying such gadgets for convenience and accessibility. I was both amazed and dismayed watching my three-year-old granddaughter operate her mother’s iPad—astounded by her ability to maneuver the back button to retrieve her video choice, and saddened by her absorption in a virtual world.

In a time when everything moves so fast, to keep up we need to get on board. It doesn’t mean we have to update our phones every time a new one comes out, or stop how we have always done things. It suggests we must continue to adapt and try out new things and ways that make our lives easier and more efficient. And for those of us who wish to keep our old-style ways, we can do just that. It’s okay.

As for technology I love, I will choose my new air fryer over utilizing a pan any day. I’ll ask Alexa to, “find my phone,” instead of worrying about where I left it. Using GPS maps to find my way around is a godsend. And I use an electronic calendar in place of a day planner.

But when it comes to reading, the soft pulp of a page will always outshine the flat screen.

This gal will always turn the page.

Jill Modell-Dion started writing after a long career in senior therapeutic recreation. She’s written several workbooks for caregivers on creative activities. Her first novel, The Laundromat General, was published in April and her next book, The Vacant Piano, will be released soon. Visit her website agingcreative.com to read her story/blog, which always offers an aging perspective.

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