Monday, March 30, 2009

I read, therefore I am

Not quite how Descartes was quoted, but it will suffice.

Beloved Father was always considered a "hands on" and "practical" man; he was not much of a book reader, rather he read news magazines and the local papers, whilst Sainted Mother was a reader, and carried the "very intelligent" tag gracefully but reluctantly. It was not something that was ever said to her, it was more understood as a fact of life.

She was a product of the generation that thought a wife should not earn more than her husband, so she gave up a promising career to take a lower paying job before taking many years away from the work force to stay at home and raise the brood, as did most back then. Wonderful Daughter is currently pursuing that same career path, to her eternal credit (and doing an outstanding job bearing that load); it is as much a labor of love as it is work, for all that.

Back to topic.

Once the magic of letters making words, then making sense, clicked in my brain, and I understood exactly what it was she was trying to teach me, I became a lifelong lover of words and books, and have read, quite literally, thousands of books. At one point I even maintained a list of books I had read, starting in high school, and continuing until a few years ago when I transferred the hand-written list to computer, and lost the list when the system crashed shortly thereafter. Naturally, I had pitched the list.

Today my list is shorter, and only contains an ever-changing list of (currently) about 160 books that I plan to read. This one is on computer, also, but is stored at WorldCat's website using one of their tools. This time I have kept the printed copy of what is on it.

Side note: I currently have cards to six library systems to aid my procurement efforts.

In the past I have had up to three books going at once, but nowadays I confine myself to one, unless the other is an audiobook. I also read while walking to and from the office, something I have done for about 20 years, and have noticed a few other venturesome souls doing the same recently.

I'm a trendsetter!

I draw the line at reading while driving, though.

All five of us children were readers, though RT was the least fond of it back in the day; now, he writes for others to read, although he is making his way through Sainted Mother's collection of Great Works (read: BORING!), most of which will likely put me to sleep.

Baby Sis read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series each year while working as a lifeguard; I always wondered if that was while on duty or on break, but she never said.

"Lifeguard! Johnny's in trouble!"

"All right, wait a sec until I can find a dry spot for my book!"


  1. I think my first book was Peter and the Rocket Ship. There were several in the series.

  2. It was on break! So there! I reacently had to replace The Hobbit - Amelia broke it while reading it in 8th grade (class requirement). She says it was because the book was so old and misused (well-loved!) but I say she didn't treat it right!
    We frequently take books away from kids in the bathroom - you have five minutes to finish, give me the book!

  3. My favorite early childhood book was Rabbit and Skunk and the Scary Rock.

    Loved the Hardy Boys and the Rick Brandt Science Adventures, Tom Swift, and the Yankee Flier series.