More Books, Less Television
by Kimberly Paternoster and Michael Fitzgerald
July 07, 2024

As winter slowly turned to spring this year, my wife and I rearranged the furniture in our upper-story living area so chairs and couches face the river, turning our backs to the 70-inch television we watched through long, rainy Oregon nights. We were immediately reminded how much watching the flowing river water aids meditation and reflection.

After a few days we moved the now-unwatched television to a downstairs bedroom where we could watch it. But we haven’t. Instead, we have been reading voraciously: books, magazines and local publications. We were probably too tired when we went to bed at night. Now we start earlier.

A recent gift of 100 mostly classic books from a friend bolstered our home library. And I rediscovered my local library, which is a treasure trove of the latest new-release books, fiction and non-fiction.

The effect has been dramatic. Now that we are not channel surfing, we reach into our respective stacks of unread books, prompting conversations about what each of us is reading instead of what we both saw on the television. Ironically, one book that I am devouring was made into a television program: The Blue Zones Secrets for Living Longer – Lessons from the Healthiest Places on Earth.

A lot of Blue Zones’ narrative supports what you read in the essays in this Magazine about the need for purpose, about movement, about how we meet aging challenges, and dozens of other dynamic aging concepts.

It’s about dynamic aging.

The Blue Zones’ on “Design Your Surroundings,” reminds me of the basics: that eating healthy is infinitely easier if your cupboards have easily accessible healthy food. Our daily routines of walking, perhaps to a friend’s house or a public venue like a coffee house or library, is at least double or triple duty — we move more, get outdoors, and talk to people as we’re out and about.

The book is a well-researched and well-written reference work, one I can reread and reread easily. Try that with any video program.

The television might move back upstairs when winter socks in this fall as we create other ways to dynamically age. But the books are here to stay.

Michael J. Fitzgerald

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Michael J. Fitzgerald is an editor with Dynamic Aging 4 Life magazine. In 2023, he celebrated 50 years as a professional journalist and writer. He writes a weekly column titled “Write On” for the daily Finger Lakes Times newspaper in Geneva, NY. He is also an editor and writer with the Richmond Pulse newspaper in Richmond, California.

Originally a native New Yorker, Michael retired as a professor of journalism from California State University, Sacramento. He and his wife Sylvia Fox sailed their yacht Sabbatical to Mexico where they lived for almost a decade. Michael currently resides in Oregon, living in a floating home on a tributary of the Willamette River near Portland.


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