Taking a slower approach and re-embracing physical books

The summer of 2018 was rough. I felt like I was in a tornado of awful. Every single day felt like my amygdala was gushing the fight or flight response to the point that I took a week of vacation just to get a short break from the near-constant roller coaster I was on.

I decided to try something slightly different on this vacation since I needed to slow down and escape in a major way: I booked a one-day/one-night trip and I bought a bunch of books, with a plan to spend the remainder of my time enjoying my patio with beverages and snacks.

Buying books before I take vacation is nothing new for me. I literally never go anywhere without books since I have my phone with me everywhere I go. However, for the first time in years, I bought physical books. And I wanted fluffy books. That second part I pretty much failed since I bought books that mirrored, in various ways, the tumultuous period I was living through.

Despite my questionable judgment about the suitability of certain books for light, escapist vacation reading, I really enjoyed settling in for a book that requires two hands and a light source to read.

Since last summer, I’ve doubled down on reading physical books, making sure I always have one on the go. I still read on my devices and listen to audio books because this allows me to read more books more quickly and I love to read as much as I can get my hands on.

But I’ve learned to appreciate the calm that descends when I’m surrounded by quiet broken only by the crinkle and swish of a page turning. I’m still a fast reader but sitting down to read a physical book forces you to pay attention and forego other distractions, except some background music to help ward off distractions from ambient noise.

As long as I’m able, I’m not going to stop reading ebooks and audio books but it’s been nice to get back to my old ways of devouring books that aren’t quite as easily mobile.