Unplug…starting tonight

Back in the 90s it was THE thing for rock bands, especially the grunge or heavy metal bands, to unplug their guitars and play a few sets acoustically for their devoted fans. The songs would sometimes sound very different, remastered if you will, from what we had become accustomed to hearing either on the radio or CDs.

Unplugging was definitely all the rage back then…and it also showed audiences which bands had authentic musical chops and which bands needed to plug back in.

Jump ahead a couple of decades and the meaning of “unplugging” is the mostly the same, just peppered with more personal electronic gadgetry than we had back in the day.

From iPods, iPads, iPhones, laptops, desktops, DVDs and cable television to my favorite – Charter OnDemand – who needs to actually pick up a book anymore?

I do!

Fumbling around in my closet earlier this week I knocked over the stack of first edition hardbacks I collected the two years I was studying for my Accreditation in Public Relations exam. I’m embarrassed to admit exactly how many books I have hidden in my closet, and I refuse to count. I only buy first editions by my favorite contemporary authors: James Patterson, Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, Tami Hoag and Steig Larssen. But, recently I’ve picked up a few new favorites, and those are in the stacks as well.

There is nothing comparable to the crack of a freshly opened book. The spine is stiff, and the cover unblemished. The musty smell of the paper reminds me of rain and wet grass. Settling in with a new book, a new mystery, is comfortable. It’s the kind of comfort I get with a great cup of coffee or when Mazie decides she wants to snuggle and curls up beside me when I’m reading.

Reading has always been as much a passion of mine as writing. I read so much while studying for the APR exam that it felt like I was wearing out the privilege. It was exhausting. I’ve always read at least an hour before turning in for the night as a way to quiet my mine and let the stress of the day wear off.

Somewhere along the way, my iPad replaced my books. The mysteries before bedtime became Words with Friends, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve lost my way.

It’s time for me to get back on my well-travelled path, and tonight is an excellent opportunity to unplug.

It’s James Patterson’s 10th Anniversary. So…what happened to the baby? I can’t wait to find out!

*And, by the way, I saw the trailer for Cross today. Tyler Perry ROCKS as Alex Cross, and I can’t wait for the movie!

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