I love books. I love having a bookshelf full of books. I admitted to myself when buying the Kindle that I would still buy the physical book if it was something that anticipate wanting to add to the physical library. In this case, I purchased The Emerging Diaconate by Deacon William Ditewig, PhD. My interest for the diaconate and my thoughts on this book are for another post, but I thought that I’d want to keep this one in physical form.
I realized I enjoy reading on the Kindle much more. With the Kindle, I can’t flip forward a few pages to see how long until the end of a chapter. I saw this as a defect; however, it is a benefit. While reading the book in the quiet of our room while the girls were sleeping on our retreat, I would be ready to take a break. While reading the previous book on the Kindle, I’d finish that “screen” and the remainder of that paragraph, put the book down and go. With the physical book, I wanted to reach the end of the chapter.
My reading comprehension crashed. My goal wasn’t to read anymore; it was to finish the chapter. I could say that I read the last two pages of the chapter, but I failed to retain any of it. I caught myself doing it again on Monday night. When buying the Kindle, I thought that I would read more, but I never thought it would help me to be a better reader.
That’s a sign of a great piece of technology. It may have flaws and critics will have issues, no doubt, but it enhances something to make your life truly better.
For Lent, I am hanging up my iPod Touch.
I’m still using the same one that was a Christmas gift in 2008 and it has served me well. While working as an insurance agent, I loved being able to update my electronic calendar on the road. I’m not certain it enhanced my scheduling experience, though. I remember apologizing many times while waiting for the iPod to load my calendar. A paper calendar may have actually been more efficient.
Now though, why do I need an iPod Touch? I get away with checking e-mail and Twitter throughout the day, but I don’t need to be consuming that content at that moment. Olivia comes up to me and says “Daddy, stop checking e-mail!”. Usually, I do it when she’s playing by herself and I seemingly have nothing to do in that moment. Truthfully, I’m trying to do two things well at the same time: be with my girls and keep up with the outside world.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have dedicated blocks of time to do that? Do I carry a book with me everywhere and read a paragraph every time there is a two-minute lull? No offense, but do the 500 people I follow on Twitter actually say anything that I have to read right that moment?
Would I be a better father by being present when I’m present? Would it stretch me to have to figure out how to do activities during the day that entertains/educates both me and the girls? I bet they get bored too sometimes and don’t have the luxury of pulling out a magic device that always gives me something new to look at.
What about you? Are you using Lent as a chance to take away what doesn’t enhance? What helped you decide what you will be doing for the next 40 days?