Reading For Pleasure
Reading For Pleasure
I enjoy reading for pleasure. I am currently reading yet another story about the Trojan War named “The Hittite” by noted author Ben Bova. Bova usually writes science fiction novels but he’s taken a stab on historical fiction and done it well. After this novel I’m going back to George R.R. Martin’s massive tome “A Dance with Dragons”, his fifth book in the epic saga “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
In between I am reading at least four or five books on the Civil War. At least I’m reading the appropriate sections that pertain to my project, an eBook on the Civil War in Virginia. I also dip in and out of special instructional books on various aspects of the Internet: Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Traffic Generation.
I have been an avid reader since I was a child. I tend to hold onto books for a long time, especially those that hold a certain significance to me. My father and mother read chapters of books to me at bedtime for years. Robin Hood, The Arabian Nights, Anderson’s Fairy Tales and The Last of the Mohicans to name a few. I guard them jealously as if they’re the Crown Jewels of England, to me they have the same value.
Reading for pleasure is an acquired skill. You have to work at it every day just like physical training. Think of it as exercise for the mind. I used to ride about 15 blocks on my bicycle at least once a week to my branch of the New York Public Library. I think that I read every book in the science fiction section at least once. Over the years I’ve read all of the Battletech series at least twice. I first read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” in 1969. I once guessed that I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy seven times.
I love reading for pleasure. I literally have hundreds of books all over my house. Recently I’ve been donating those that I don’t expect to reread to the Veteran’s Hospital in Richmond. Maybe I’ll fill my wagon an take some to the new Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to pass them along.
Reading is what separates us from the barbarians. Well, that and forks. Civilization was built on the ability to read. It is said that the Irish monks saved civilization in the Dark Ages by copying books. The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in about 1440 made books more available and was one of the sparks of the Renaissance.
We have now entered a new digital age where books can be accessed by e Readers, tablet PCs and computers. Search for a book that you would like to read, download it and away you go. Many books are available at no charge. Newspapers and magazines can be accessed in the same way, all at a lower cost. No paper, no printing, no physical distribution required. Reading for pleasure has become much easier to do.
When I was very young I admired my great-uncle Clarence’s set of O. Henry short stories every time we went his and Aunt Jule’s apartment for Sunday dinner. Even though it was over 55 years ago. Uncle Clarence died when I was about 5 but I remember one Sunday when I guess that I was 10 or 12 that we went for Sunday dinner. There by the door was a package wrapped in brown paper and string with the O. Henry books. Aunt Jule said to me “Your Uncle Clarence wanted you to have these when you were old enough to appreciate them.” I have appreciated them every day from that day to this.