With age comes the discovery that I enjoy things that were detested in my youth.
For instance, I now like Brussels sprouts and a quiet evening at home with a 9:00 bedtime. I also love reading a good book. It was considered a chore next to death in my school days. My teachers would be pleased to know their efforts have borne fruit; though, it took 60 some years to do so.
There could be two primary reasons for this, other than a speck of maturity. I now get to read what I want and not what I’m assigned to read. I’m also not required to write a book report when finished.
I confess that this task would have been much more difficult in school had it not been for the series of comic books at the time called “Classics Illustrated.” They featured many of the assigned novels. There was also the ‘Cliffs Notes” that would provide the highlights in a short 15 or 30 minute read. I wonder if they are still published, or served their purpose for my generation.
This also carried over into early adulthood. When we bought something that said “some assembly required,” I felt it was an insult to my intelligence to read and follow step by step. It was usually the first thing trashed.
I remember assisting Santa late one Christmas Eve. He brought a kitchen set, with refrigerator, stove and sink for our four-year-old. I figured I could whip it out in a few minutes. The morning sun was peeping over the horizon when I finally finished. The left over parts didn’t look important so I hid them in the trash.
I now read every word in books, including the Preface, Prologue, dust cover, Appendix and whatever else is included. Is this something recently added or have they always been there?
My wife tried to get me into reading downloads from Amazon on her device. I read one like that, but, one was enough. I’m back to the printed version like God and Gutenberg intended.
Friends have recommended several of the popular writers of the day and I’ve tried a few. I am not a reader of fiction. There are too many interesting non-fictions and biographies available. If I finish a good book that piques my appetite for more on a real event, there is more out there. You can’t do that with fiction. Don’t even get me started on my wife’s “historical romances.”
I have always enjoyed history and reading about its events and characters. History and Phys. Ed. were my favorite classes in school. I lost my sophomore year of sports eligibility because you had to be passing at least three subjects to participate. I lost my argument that Study Hall was a subject. But, I digress.
Currently, I am collecting the “killing” series by Bill O’Reilly. He has written several on Lincoln, Jesus and others. I recently finished Killing Reagan. He does a lot of research and presents it well. Several other favorites are Bruce Canton, William Manchester and Stephen Ambrose to name a few.
The pandemic, combined with winter weather, provided lots of spare time for reading. If you don’t already, I encourage you to take some quiet time and find a good book. You may find it both entertaining and informative. I certainly have. God bless and have a great day.
William Rowell is a Perquimans County resident and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.