In the iPad Age, Reading Is More Important than Ever

Self on 03.24.11
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Yesterday, my six year-old daughter woke up and, without even getting out of bed, reached for the latest book she was reading and immediately immersed herself in it. "I can't wait to get back to this book," she said.

My heart was truly warmed by this, as I recognized in her that same love of reading that I have had since I was her age. To me, reading is a transportative activity. OK, I may have made that word up, but what I mean is that reading is one of the few - if not the only - activities that has the power to take me from wherever I am and send me somewhere else.

And I am finding that reading is more important to me than ever, in this age of iPads, Blackberries, and DVRs. As a working mom, I am forever multitasking. I read magazines while I blowdry my hair. I work at night on my laptop while I watch TV. I listen to podcasts while I run and to novels while I drive to work. Even my time with my daughters is punctuated by work emails on my Blackberry, which come in at all hours of the night and weekend.

But when I read books - and I like the old-fashioned paper version of books - I am physically unable to multitask. And that is a wonderful thing, for reading remains for me the one time when I am totally focused on one activity, and therefore when I am truly relaxed. When I am enjoying an addictive, involving novel (or the very occasional non-fiction or memoir), my mind is 100% engaged, and my body is at peace. I find that I crave, both mentally and physically, that singularity of focus at the end of a long day when I have been pulled into a million directions. It is often the richest and most satisfying experience of the day.

So I always try to make time for reading, even during the most hectic of weeks. And I hope that for my daughters, reading will take on that same importance for them as they grow up.


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