I became the proud owner of a “smart” phone recently.

It is lovely — red with a gray and white case, a sleek, shiny screen and all the icons and apps a girl could want. As I laid it next to my new Kindle, on the same desk as my laptop, I had to wonder.

When did this 50-something woman of letters cross over into the digital age?

As for this latest acquisition, my old flip-phone was still working just fine. A little awkward for texting and not many bells and whistles, but I could still talk on it, which is what I mostly used it for anyway – especially since we live miles off the cyberspace highway of high-speed internet, and surfing efficiently is not an option. Despite the cracked front screen, my little phone took decent photos and showed me the time and date when I needed it. But, my cell phone was eligible for an upgrade, so I sought my son’s advice on which device to choose and, for the cost of a large McDonald’s coffee and $20 a month in data privileges, I took the plunge. Who knows what adventures await me and my very smart new phone?

Now the e-reader, well, it was a gift. Really.

I had graciously turned down my husband’s offer of an e-reader for my birthday a year ago with protests like “I really enjoy holding books. You know, turning the pages, putting in bookmarks, highlighting them, writing in them. Smelling them. Watching them stack up on the shelves at my side of the bed. Thank you, honey, but no thanks.”

Then, my friend got an e-reader for Christmas and she was clearly smitten. She extolled the virtues of carrying all the books she longed to read just a touch away in one slim rectangle. Cheaper (eventually), no paper waste, fewer books tumbling from overflowing shelves. She actually hugged it to her cheek…”I love my Kindle,” she said.

It made great sense. Since I’m determined to read more, I could make good use of those lost moments spent standing in line or waiting on holdwith nothing to occupy my mind. Reading options could be loaded on that skinny little device and zippered into a handy travel case, tucked into my purse for just such mind-expanding opportunities. I could download a Bible on it, even music. I was sold.

So, as Mother’s Day rolled around, I said “Yes, I would love a Kindle. Make it a ‘Fire’ while you’re at it.” I rationalized that I would still buy some “real” books – and I have. A tattered paperback, even a smooth, cool-to-the-touch hardback volume, is infinitely more satisfying to hold as I curl up for a stolen hour of reading. But for those moments on the run, my new Kindle definitely fills the bill. The best of both worlds.

My laptop and I have a longer relationship. The book work I’m obliged to do for our family business was the incentive to buy a relatively inexpensive laptop. It’s reserved for bookkeeping and my writing projects, as well as researching on any high-speed Internet connection I can find. The two young men still living under our roof have a Mac and an I-Pad, so our desktop personal computer sees little action these days, unless my husband decides to try to find something on the Internet (an adventure in patience best left for another time). While I am proud to say I’ve written some of my best pieces long-hand on lined paper in an old-fashioned marbled notebook, my productivity jumped noticeably when the laptop landed on my desk.

So, here I sit with my laptop on my lap, my e-reader open to a book on writing and my new smart phone ringing in the background. At least, I think it’s my phone. I don’t really recognize that ring tone…….but I’ve got an app for that.

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