Monday, October 21, 2013

Reading Is A Blessing

I gravitate toward any type of poster or quote that involves reading. I have always been a reader, ever since those first grade Dick, Jane and Baby Sally books enthralled me. Once I'd mastered those, I took off like a jackrabbit in an Arizona desert. My family didn't have extra money to purchase books so I learned early on to be a library patron. That practice carried on throughout my growing up years and adulthood right on into these senior years I'm living now. I do purchase books now but a good percentage of what I read comes from my local library.

My parents did subscribe to the Chicago Tribune and I learned to read it, too. My dad often bought a copy of an evening paper that he read on the train as he journeyed home every evening after work. I remember that it had strange creases in it as people who read on the commuter trains had to fold the paper in lengthwise sections to read it so they wouldn't disturb the person in the next seat. You have to read the newspaper to stay informed is what my dad told us many times, and I still believe that today. Maybe not only the newspaper in our present world, but we do need to read and stay informed. It might be online or in a paper copy or even watching the TV news shows.

In my youth, I read magazines ranging from Highlights for Kids to movie magazines and an occasional True Romance if I could manage to bring one home and keep it hidden from my mother, who did not approve. I read Life, The Saturday Evening Post and skimmed through an occasional National Geographic. When I married, my magazine choices changed to Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and Family Circle as well as Better Homes and Gardens. Now, I take a lot of magazines that deal with food, health and travel. I find taking a break by reading a magazine to be relaxing as well as informative.

I read several newsletters each month--from my church, the hospital auxiliary, my husband's cardiac care quarterly, the Friend's group at our library, and several geared to writers that I read online.

I nearly always have a stack of books waiting to be read. When I've whittled it down to one, I begin to panic. I can't imagine my life without a book to read. So, it's then I'm off to a bookstore or the library to replenish the pile. The TV is on every evening in our house, as my husband is a big TV watcher. I am usually watching with one eye and the other on a book or magazine. I do concnetrate more on what I'm reading than what is happening on TV.

When we travel, one of the most important items I pack is reading material. Books and magazines accompany me. I have not purchased an ereader as yet, but I keep thinking it would be great to take along on a trip. So, it may be in my not too distant future.

Writers are readers. That's a safe statement to make, I think. I know a lot of writers and I know of only one who is not a reader. Why she does not read the work of others is a puzzle to me. I feel like all writers gain a lot of writing knowledge through reading the works of other writers. You may learn what you should do and perhaps what you should not do, as well.

Occasionally, we read news stories about someone or a group of people who never learned to read for various reasons. Illiteracy is found around the world, more in some countries than others. Because I love reading so much, it hurts me to learn of those who have never had the joy of reading a book, magazine or newspaper. I consider the ability to read one of my greatest blessings. How about you?

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