Monday, January 20, 2014

Drinking Words

By Mark W. Danielson

Pick any restaurant and you will notice that nearly everyone there has a beverage of some kind.  This is not unusual, of course, but soda and coffee at most dine-in restaurants ranges between $2.50 and $3.00.  Nearby, drive-through coffee shops are packed with caffeine hoarders paying four bucks on up for their brew.  Inside, many clients prefer to coddle their electronic devices than speak to the person sitting across from them.  And thus is the irony of where our society has gone.

As someone who frequently dines alone while away from home, such observations often lead to conclusions.  Although I could certainly dwell on how electronic social media sites now substitute for social interaction, the topic I’m addressing today is about the financial choices people make – specifically how they prefer drinking words over reading them.  You see, for less than the cost of a beverage, these same people who sip their drinks, tuned into their smart phones and iPads, could be reading a book on those same devices.  Interesting, no? 

With so many e-books available for between one and three dollars, why haven’t e-book sales tripled since those new Christmas e-readers were opened? offers an expansive array of inexpensive books, so for a minimal investment, why not check out authors you haven’t read?  Of course, Amazon and Barnes and Noble also have plenty of e-books for three bucks or less.

Considering how dine-in restaurants are thriving, cost cannot be the reason people aren’t reading.  More likely, it’s our infatuation with reality TV and social media.  If this is actually the case, then our society is in serious trouble, for words anchor civilization.  The next time you think about giving a gift card, consider giving one from a book store rather than Starbucks.  In the long run, the recipient might thank you.       


Jackie King said...

I enjoyed this post, and agree that nothing gives better company during a lonely lunch than reading a book; either paper or electronic.

This is why so many women, especially those of a certain age, tuck their Kindle (or other e-reader) into their purses. I know that I always do.

The next best thing to a conversation with someone you love, is living vicariously via the written page.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Thanks, Jackie. While I realized I was preaching to the choir with this post, it's great that so many of any age carry e-readers. With E-Reader Aps available on any smart phone, there's never a reason to "be alone". :)

Jean Henry Mead said...

I agree with you both. Books are always gret company when you're alone whether they're electronic or paper. And buying bookstore gift cards are a great idea, Mark. Especially for children.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Make that great company. :)

June Shaw said...

Good idea, Mark, and one I've often used. I have to say that when I noticed the rose and the heart shape in the cup of coffee to start your post, I was surprised that you wrote it: ) Nice.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Jean, when I'm alone, especially on long trips, a good book makes time pass joyfully.

June, you KNOW I've got a big heart. :)