I tend to go through phases where I get obsessed with certain things, getting really into them and wanting to learn all I can about them. For my latest obsession of the past couple weeks, I blame Pluto TV.
Pluto TV is a free online video streaming service that works like traditional over-the-air TV in that it has channels and each channel is just a continuous broadcast of content with commercial breaks. You just “tune in” to a Pluto TV channel and watch whatever is on at the time.
When my favorite Star Trek series (TNG, DS9, and VOY) disappeared from Amazon Prime and Hulu, my brother told me there was a Star Trek channel on Pluto TV. I started checking out their other channels and bookmarking a few.
Then I found their Dog the Bounty Hunter channel. I remembered watching and enjoying that show back in the day. So I watched a few episodes and I was hooked (again). It's entertaining. But I also find it uplifting.
I enjoy reading books. Real, physical books with paper pages that you keep on a shelf when you're not reading them.
Reading on a phone, tablet, or even a dedicated eBook reader just isn't the same.
You don't have to charge a real book. There's no risk of being distracted by notifications or being tempted to check your social media. You don't need an account or a subscription to access it, and there's no risk it might randomly disappear due to arbitrary licensing agreements or the whims of a big tech company. And those big tech companies can't track your reading habits so that they can try to extract even more money from you and try to sell you things, or let other companies pay them for that information so they can try to sell you things, too.
There's no substitute for holding a real book in your hands – feeling the weight of it, reading the dust jacket (if it has one), thumbing through the pages.
Real books have a smell. A magical combination of glue, paper, ink, and – if it's an older book – age. As soon as this distinctive aroma hits your nostrils, you can't help but get excited at the prospect of learning something new or being taken on a grand adventure.
Books are more than just words on a page. They are a catalyst for thought and imagination. And for me, they are best experienced and enjoyed in their physical form.