February 12, 2014

Take A Screen Diet And Read A Good Book

#1: Turn off TV, computer, iPad, cell phone, tablet, DVD player, laptop, and notebook.

I got up before the sun this morning with a challenge clearly in mind - to write a top-notch, inspiring and insightful post before the sun came up. Trying to stick to my schedule of having new posts up as early as possible every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I fired up the laptop and secured a hot drink.

For me there is no writing on/off switch. Usually I find that an initial brief survey of my resources gets me to the point that I am ready for writing.

First of all, Linda, the Official Muse, Co-Contributor, and Head Editor around here, must be consulted.

If further inspiration is required after that, I review newspapers, other simple living blogs, and my own portfolio of information and writing in order to trigger an impulse to begin.

This morning I started by visiting the Frugal In Tasmania blog to read a short post about going on a month long TV diet. I don't have a television, but do watch programming on the computer. Thinking that I sometimes watch too much, I was inspired to go on a bit of a screen diet myself, and started immediately.

I set the computer aside, and picked up a library book I have been ignoring for too long. The sun came up, the tide came in, the tide went out, and I read and read and read. Lounging on the couch with the book on my lap, a soporific sunbeam fell on me and my reading session was punctuated by a short nap.

After a gloriously long day of leisurely reading, the sun went down. It may have been a brief screen diet, but it definitely had a positive impact on my desire to spend time away from the digital world. It felt good to disengage for a while.

Thanks to the Tasmanian Minimalist (who also loves reading a good book), for the brief reminder that escaping the screens is good for you. It may even help me to write better posts here.

Now, back to my book.

What are you reading? Today I have been enjoying a non-fiction book called Teenage: The Creation Of Youth Culture, by Jon Savage. Fascinating reading about the origins of adolescence and taming the "troubled teens".


  1. Hear hear!

    My son (12) and I are working through the Bernard Cornwell series of "Sharpe" books. (It's my third trip actually) It's taking a while as the library doesn't have all of them so we have to wait.

    Your day sounded like heaven.

    1. Jess,

      We have lots of books on hold at the library. What they don't have they can get through inter-library loan. Our library is a valuable hub in our community.

      It was nice to stop and read for a nice, long stretch. Wonderfully low-tech.

  2. How exciting to see my name, thank you so much. I am reading all of Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series, though classics they are not, I am obsessed by them. Thanks heaps.

    1. T.M.,

      Thanks for getting me going with your 30 day TV diet. Getting away can free up a lot of time for other things.

      Like reading. My last book of fiction was a mystery/detective novel "Bones of Paris" by Laurie R. King.

  3. What an inspiring post! After going through a dry period of not finding a book that I could lose myself in, I finally revisited an old favorite from girlhood, Louisa May Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Girl. Its themes of simplicity, modesty, frugality, and loving people more than things has really resonated with me as an adult. Re-reading this book brings back so many happy memories and always makes me smile. It's a wonderful way to pass the time on these snowy winter nights.

    Sophie W.

    1. Sophie W.,

      Alcott was an amazing woman that had been taught by Henry David Thoreau in her early years. The book sounds great. What is truly important has not changed across the ages, but it is a lesson that we continually need to relearn.

      No other non-fiction readers out there?

  4. Nice to see someone taking it easy and just read without feeling bad for not doing anything "useful". :) To me reading is one of lifes' best moments. Since I had internet connection at home I read a bit less books but read perhaps more anyway since non-fiction is my favorite and there are so much interesting about just anything on the internet. I like languages too and read in three Scandinavian languages (kind of alike), English and Russian and a bit German so the amount of reading possibilities on the internet is huge and inspiring. Internet is a great blessing in my life!

    To take a screen diet would lead to more reading actual books but...I think sometimes it's better to add good things than to take something away. Yes, I mean it, it sounds strange but I thought about that many times when reading blogs on minimalism. There is so much focus on eliminating stuff and bad habits. I agree, it's gives joy and feelings of liberation but what gives even more happiness is to add what you really appreciate. Then the rest will fall off, it will loose its' hold on you or decrease in attraction. What you give your attention to will grow and shape your mind. What I just wrote does not go against anything you wrote in this blog post. This just came out of my mind...

    And what book am I reading now? It is the last book of the series of Voices of Utopia "Time Second Hand" (my translation of titles, English translation of this last part yet not done I think) by Svetlana Alexievich. Her writings touches me deeply as I have some concern for the Russian people. (Don't ask me why, I don't know it myself)

    However, my favorite author is Martin Buber. I come back to his writings every year and reread it. I always find something new because the text is reading me!

    1. Eva,

      I have redefined what "useful" means for me, and reading definitely falls within that category.

      We also use the internet extensively as we are very curious people that love to learn and explore our world and the people in it. There is a great amount of reading and learning to be done, even if you only speak and read English like we do. It must be amazing to know so many languages.

      I agree with what you say about the focus often being about taking away what you don't want, and not necessarily about adding things that you love. It is always better to be pro-something rather than anti-something.

      Your current reading sounds very interesting, and non-fiction, too. Heavy non-fiction. Eye-opening, truth-revealing non-fiction. We should definitely have concern for the Russians, and the Ukrainians, and those in Belarus that will be dealing with the death and destruction spread far and wide by Chernobyl. The area will be adversely affected for a thousand years.

      I am looking up Martin Buber.

      Happy reading… wherever you do it.

  5. Wonderful! Reading more is one of my New Year's resolution. I made it after reading Nina Sankovitch's memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading. In the book Sankovitch reads a book a day, and discusses the books she reads along side the memories of her sister who has recently died. I cannot boast a book a day, but I am reading a book a week and have read some great one's since starting in January. I'm currently reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Really there is nothing better than turning off the TV and getting lost in a good book instead.

    Read on!

    1. Karen,

      Best New Years resolution ever. Another amazing book mention. Thanks!

  6. I'm enjoying a "Facebook Free February".

    1. Savoring Servant,

      Good to hear from you. Your F.F.F. is a Freakin' Fabulous idea.

  7. when I realized it was just flipping through channels and exercising my thumb, it was time to make a decision. Kept the basic cable package and terminated the rest. Still flipping through channels, but less of them and saving $35 per month. Not bad. As to reading, yes it is cheap and cheerful. Much quieter., there are a lot of great local libraries around, and they are FREE. Lots of used book stores and if you just can't wait, you can always go to your local independent book store to purchase the latest best seller. This can always be passed on to friends and family or used for a credit at the used book store. There isn't much on t.v. worth watching. the news is only about 10 minutes of information. CBC does it best. Yes, a t.v. diet is always nice. Perhaps that is what we could all do next Valentines Day. Not watch t.v. and spend time with our loved ones.


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