I’ve been a reader ever since.
Books are my solace, my hope, my escape, and a very real need. I can’t sleep without several by my bedside at night, and I’m almost giddy with delight in a bookstore.
But lately, I’ve noticed I’m reading differently. I’m inattentive. A mind wanderer. It takes me weeks to finish a not-so-very-long novel. Some books, I’ve abandoned altogether. I’ve got commitment issues.
And I blame it on my iPad.
Somehow, the iPad’s evolving me from a reader to a sampler. I move from blog to blog and site to site like trees in an orchard, plucking at a writer’s words like pieces of fruit here and there along the way to the next, more visually appealing tree down the path.
I don’t think I like the reader I’m becoming.
And I question what all this means for me as a writer.
Does anyone read what I write? Do you read all the way to the end of a post? Has photography become the interior decorating on this blog? The picture hook I hang my words on?
I’ve known for awhile that I’m more visual than ever. I’ve known my reading attention is limited by a scan, rather than in-depth thought and processing. I’m not sure how much meaning I make either as I scroll, pinch, tap, and type. A writer’s words, truthfully, probably grab me only after I’ve browsed the pictures first.
So I’m going on an iPad diet.
I’ve been sampling too much and reading too little.
Going forward, you’ll find me holding a book at bedtime. I’ll read next to the soft, yellow glow of a lamp on the nightstand instead of the harsh, blue light of the electronic device on my lap. This week, I’ll curl up with Stephen King’s On Writing A Memoir of the Craft instead of Pinterest.
And every once in awhile, I’ll bring that book to my nose … to smell the pages.
I wonder how much more weight my words will hold if I leave you with only one picture instead of four or five?
Will you read anyway?
I’m hopeful you will.