Know Jack #69

I’ve added so many new chapters into my novel Lady on the Edge that I’ve had to suspend writing and go back and read the story to make sure everything still meshes together like its supposed to do. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to spend all day Friday sitting around reading, it might as well be me, right?

There was an ad campaign on television and radio back when that was about all the entertainment media there was that told everyone, Reading is Fundamental. I’m hard-pressed to find a better idea to promote…ever. A person who can read can do anything. A person who does read does everything, goes everywhere and can be anyone. That’s the magic of books.

I admit I sell ebooks and I have read more than a few. However, I still have a special love for bound paper covered with ink. There’s something almost indescribable about that kind of books. For me, they have a voice all their own. I think I have about a dozen books on my Kindle Reader right now. I’m sorry to say they are easy to ignore. But, it’s bound copies on my shelves call my name and wave when I walk by.

Likewise surfing titles on Amazon is not nearly as satisfying as a walk through a bookstore. Barnes and Noble is marginally better than Amazon. It’s bookstores with wood floors that creak when you walk between stacks of new books and used books waiting to be adopted that really say, stop and smell the pages. If you can throw a coffee shop in there too, it gets really hard for me to leave.

When I was a younger man, I collected books. I even had fiction and non-fiction sections. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Edgar Allen Poe, and Allen Drury on one side, Bruce Catton, Stephen Ambrose, Douglas Southall Freeman, and Shelby Foote on the other. Now that I’m older, I’ve given most of them away. Time to let others enjoy them. Oh, I’ve kept a sacred few, those I cannot part with usually have thoughts that I want to reference in my writing or are the ones I keep reading over and over again.

The one thing I really miss about having all those books lining my office is when people ask me, “Have you read all these books?” It feels good to say, “Yes, and some twice.” That’s probably a kind of boast, but I don’t care. It takes the sting out of when people are talking about movies and I haven’t seen them.

I believe the greatest gift anyone can give is a book…it can not only last a lifetime, but it can also change the course of life for the reader. Parents, if you want to see to it that your children get a quality education, read to them and let them see you reading. One of the most memorable experiences in my life was reading to my kids. I can honestly say I wish I had spent more time doing it.

My top ten books of all time? Glad you asked. In no particular order: The Bible, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mere Christianity, Come Ninevah Come Tyre, The Robe, Huckleberry Finn, Pet Semetary, Undaunted Courage, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Cry the Beloved Country.

If you know me and know my special love for Poe, you may think the list incomplete…I could only name ten and my two favorites of Mr. Poe are poems The Raven and Annabelle Lee. So there you have it.

If this has inspired you to read, remember all my books are on Amazon…lol.

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