COLUMN: Disconnect from the tech

When I was younger, I spent many days and late nights with my nose in a book.

When I was younger, I spent many days and late nights with my nose in a book.

I wasn’t picky about what I read, and I was never one to abandon a book if I couldn’t get into it.

Some of my happiest memories as a child involved books. One in particular was having the opportunity to meet Jean Little, the author of “Willow and Twig” which was one of my favourite books at the time.

As I grew into my teens, reading began to take the backseat in my life.

At the library, we find that many of our patrons in this age group tend to disappear for a bit and the reason could be many different things.

For some, there is just so much going on with school and extra curricular activities that there is simply no time for books anymore.

For others, they may think that reading isn’t cool and are worried about their image.

For me, I now know what my reason was: social media, the internet and my cell phone.

I was so distracted with my cell phone and social media that I couldn’t read a couple pages without it buzzing to alert me to a new message or using it to look up a word or concept and then suddenly going down the rabbit hole.

Next thing I knew, hours had passed and the book was still unread.

It was around this time that I started my job at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, and it wouldn’t make sense to be working in a library and not be reading books.

I took to the stacks to find something that would pique my interest, and I found myself gravitating to the non-fiction section, particularly the humour shelf.

I found that this was the genre that would re-ignite my passion for reading.

One of the many books I read was “Mother, Can You Not?” by Kate Siegel in which the author tells outrageous stories about living with her crazy mother, including one where her mother forced her to steal a cat from the pound.

Another one of my favourites was “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things” by Jenny Lawson which details the author’s struggles with mental illness in the most hilarious way possible.

One would think that a book as ridiculous and hysterical as this one on crippling anxiety and depression would be a terrible idea, but terrible is what Jenny Lawson does best.

In the last six months, I have found myself driving up and down the Okanagan Valley more frequently which has drastically cut into my reading time.

Luckily for me, there is a wonderful selection of audiobooks available which make the trips more enjoyable, go by faster and also keeps me well read.

I still enjoy a physical book when I am not on the road, but I do make sure that my phone is switched off and in another room.

In a world that is always on the go and connected at every minute of everyday, there really is nothing better than hunkering down and getting lost in a book.

Kayley Robb is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.


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