In search of the tangible


I recently purchased a turntable and have begun listening to vinyl records again, some from our old collection and some I’m picking up at a local used book/record store. I appreciate the tangible nature of touching the record by pulling it out of its sleeve, placing it on the turntable, cleaning it, spinning it, and lowering the needle onto the grooves.

This move to a tactile listening experience coincides with me reading more physical books in recent months, and spending less time on social media as I wrote about here. In recent years I’ve missed the tangible, tactile aspects of things like music and books. I hesitate to say it’s my return to a better time which might sound like the slogan of my country’s president (and I want nothing to do with that hate-filled mantra).

In these days of spammers, bots (described perfectly by writer Milly Schmidt), likes-seekers, and other inauthentic expressions of the digital age, I find that pulling an old record off the shelf and playing it on the turntable has an almost centering effect. And that helps my soul.

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