Turn off the television, turn on your mind

Published 1:46 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

A friend who read last week’s column in which I mentioned there are few television programs I care to watch agrees with me. I am weary of politics and all kinds of bad news one finds flipping the remote. So is she. I turn off the television and reach for a book. So does she. We get absorbed with what we are reading and forget about our own problems and the myriad of world problems.

Since one of my husband’s hobbies was shopping library book sales and exploring junky, dusty used book stores, shelves in our house bulge with old books, slightly used books, and even books that look (and smell) brand new to choose from. Just like me, you can make a selection from your own bookcases or visit your public library. You will find plenty of choices; the latest novel by your favorite author or something familiar you just never got around to reading.

Maybe you had rather search the Internet to download some bargain books to read on an electronic tablet or cell phone. When I visited my son out of state, I downloaded several books on to my cell phone to read while I sat under a dryer at the beauty shop every week. Although I prefer to hold a book in my hand, I also enjoy the convenience of electronic devices.

If you read every day as I do, you might want to switch to a different genre now and then. I tend to get hung up on certain authors’ books. I suddenly realize I need a change. I switch to mysteries for a while, and then lean toward history and non-fiction all along.

My husband often added to his collection of fictional books about sailors and sea adventures, but I was not interested. He raved about how much he enjoyed one particular set that one day I slipped one off the shelf and read a few pages. Before I realized it, I was hooked on the fascinating adventure tales. I read the whole series before I finally put them down.

Through the years, we periodically purchased Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I read almost every one of them. Many still occupy space on my bookshelves. I think you can pick those up at library sales ranging from 10 to 25 cents each these days. Not long ago, I pulled one out to flip through its contents and lost myself in it for several hours.

When we made our yearly RV trips to dulcimer festivals in Alabama, I often found myself immersed in monthly RV magazines. They always gave me the wanderlust, wishing we could get “On the Road Again.” My husband got it, too. He studied maps and marked routes for future trips. Now and then, I read travel books that transport me straight from my favorite recliner to scenic spots around the world.

Give your TV a rest. Find yourself a good book and allow yourself to forget your troubles for a while.


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.