So I’m on a Delta flight bound for Minneapolis and then on to Seattle to celebrate one grandson’s 13 birthday and another grandson’s college graduation. I have an aisle seat and a young woman wearing a Tufts sweat shirt takes the middle seat, “Great,” I think to myself, “we can talk about her experiences at Tufts and my connections with several Bowdoin students. “Right after sitting down, she puts on earphones and stays glued to the screen in front of her for the entire flight. I look around and discover that every single passenger near me is equally wired. No sign of a book anywhere.

Feeling out of it, tike a fusty old fossil, I get out my copy of “A High Wind in Jamaica,” a book by Richard Hughes published in 1928 and included in “1,000 Books to Read Before You Die.”

Same story on the flight from Minneapolis to Seattle. I’m on the aisle and a young man, probably a Carleton College student heading home to Seattle, takes the middle seat. He gets connected immediately, thereby precluding all possibilities for conversation. Again, no one near my seat seems to be reading a book.

I land in Seattle during a heavy rainstorm on a day that

proved to be the fifth rainiest in Seattle’s history, no small feat.

The next morning, I join grandson Aiden and several family members for an IMAX screening of “Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker.” Later my son David III, a top executive at Amazon, offered to show me his office in downtown Seattle. I learn that Amazon, alone, has 59,000 employees in greater Seattle, just one reason, along with the major presences of Microsoft,Google, Facebook, Expedia and Apple, that Seattle has earned the reputation as one of the nation’s leading high-tech centers.

That evening, 20 friends and family members assembled in a private dining room in a fine restaurant 21 floors above the booming city of Bellevue. We are there to celebrate David IV’s excellent record of growth at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

I chanced to be seated next to Kate, a delightful 10th grader with the maturity of a bright college junior and eclectic interests ranging from theater and flute to reading and soccer. After Kate mentioned that she was concerned about expanding educational opportunities for girls around the world. I asked if she had read “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates. She allowed as how she had that book on her nightstand and planned to read it right after she finished “All the Light We Cannot See,” by ‘Anthony Doerr. “She’s my kind,!“ I thought, recalling the high tech, interaction-free isolation of the earlier plane rides. I asked if she was thinking of college options yet, and she mentioned Princeton and Georgetown. I, of course, sprang right into sales mode, noting that Bowdoin might merit consideration.

Then came the time for several warm toasts to the college graduate and the opening of presents, all of which were books, thanks to David’s mother’s brilliant suggestion to give books. Mirabile dictu! The gift pile included such titles as, ‘The Slight Edge,” “The Book of Joy,” “Guns, Germs and Steel,” “A Year in Provence,” “Lost in the Planet China,” “The House of the Scorpion,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and, from one of his half brothers, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Wow! A most thoughtful selection of books — real books, the kind you hold in your hands — presented to a young man right in the heart of this high-tech Mecca. Maybe there is a reading God! Maybe I don’t yet deserve the “old fossil’ label. Maybe I won’t get a case of the old man grumps when my seat mates on the redeye flight home stay glued to their electronics I can bask in the memories of one wonderful evening filled with great people and, yes, books!

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” column.

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