Monday, August 08, 2011

The Reading of Books

Saturday was National Reading Day. I love books so I spent much of the day reading. I did, however, take a break long enough to go see the new Planet of the Apes movie. I've seen all the Planet of the Apes movies and I have even read the original novel by Pierre Boule. I’ve been reading books since a child. In those days, when I wasn't outside playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, I had my nose in a book. In those days the library had a fleet of bookmobiles that drove through the various neighborhoods, especially during the summertime when we did not have access to our school libraries. Of course, in those days there was no Internet or Books have taught me many things and taken me to places my body will never go. What I lacked in formal education has been compensated for by my love of books and reading. People have sometimes asked me how I learned to write as I do. With all due respect to all my English teachers, I usually reply that I learned to write from all the hundreds of books that I've read in my lifetime. When you read good books you quickly learn the beauty of language and what a well turned phrase looks and sounds like. I think many people don’t write well today because they never read books. With all due respect to Kindle’s and other electronic ways to read, I mourn the loss of books and bookstores. Books have not only provided me with knowledge and information, they have given me many ideas to reflect upon. Much of who I am is because of my ruminations over the writings of such people as Thomas Merton and Henry David Thoreau. I don't care how many degrees you have, if you don't read books on a regular basis you are not truly an educated person. Let me close with one of my favorite quotes related to books.

"Me and a book is a party. Me and a book and a cup of coffee is an orgy."
-Robert Fripp

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