For me, holding a book elicits a different feeling compared to holding a phone. The former feels productive, quiet, and tactile; the latter feels more potent, disruptive, and distant.
“But they are different things!”, you say. Yes, true, and I’m reflecting on it.
We judge a book by its focus, but judge a phone by its versatility. A good book is purposeful and lean, while a good phone (as it is most commonly measured by) is multi-purpose and ever expanding in functionality.
When we hold a book, we engage it. When we hold a phone, it engages us. We contemplate instead of getting stimulated.
Books basically don’t expire. Phones, in the hands of the current tech superpowers, are obsolete in 2 to 5 years. This despite advancements that follow the hockey stick graph!
Books are simple, existing precisely to be understood. Phones are sophisticated, and would rather be interacted with on the surface. Literally, don’t try opening one up - in some places that’s actually illegal.
For these reasons, I try to prefer holding a book than my phone!