Read The Book!

What book?  Any book, because Friday, my friends, was National Read-a-Book Day!  When I made this discovery on Thursday night, I told daughter Chris not to expect any house chores to be done that day, for Miss Goose and I would be spending the day reading!  The reality, of course, was that we both proceeded to spend our days in much the same manner as always, but I did manage to finish one book and read about 100 pages in another.

I am a multi-book reader, meaning I always have at least two going at any given time, and sometimes as many as seven are works-in-progress and thus stacked on my bed.  I keep trying to limit myself to two at a time – one fiction, one non-fiction.  But then, something catches my eye, and before you know it, I’m hooked on yet another.  My only regret is that there aren’t an additional six hours or so in a day to spend curled up with a book.

I recently read a synopsis of former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ new book, Call Sign Chaos:  Learning to Lead that just came out last Tuesday.  In it, he discusses his lifelong love of reading.  A few of is thoughts on the topic …

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you. Any commander who claims he is ‘too busy to read’ is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way.”

“Reading sheds light on the dark path ahead. By traveling into the past, I enhance my grasp of the present.”

“Living in history builds your own shock absorber, because you’ll learn that there are lots of old solutions to new problems. Strategy is hard, unless you’re a dilettante. You must think until your head hurts.”

“I followed Caesar across Gaul. I marveled at how the plain prose of Grant and Sherman revealed the value of steely determination. … Biographies of … Native American leaders, of wartime political leaders and sergeants, and of strategic thinkers from Sun Tzu to Colin Gray have guided me through tough challenges.”

Smart man.  A former coworker and friend once told me, when I was discussing something I was reading one day, that she hadn’t read a book since high school … at the time, we were both in our late 40s, so that meant she hadn’t read a book in thirty years!  My jaw hit the floor.  I simply cannot imagine it!

A few days ago I came across an article in Mental Floss titled Six Benefits of Reading Every Day.  The six are …

  1. Reading can boost intelligence
  2. Reading helps increase empathy
  3. Reading can lower stress
  4. Reading may change your brain
  5. Reading is an excuse to put your phone away at night
  6. Reading helps families bond

I probably could have thought of a different list, but still … all the above are good enough reason to turn off the television and pick up a book, yes?

And then, there is the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office.  Let’s hear what he says about books and the joy of reading …

  • “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.” – 2016
  • He said that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.” – 2016
  • “I’m a very efficient guy. Now, I could also do it verbally, which is fine. I’d always rather have — I want it short. There’s no reason to do hundreds of pages because I know exactly what it is.”
  • “I just don’t have the time. … I would love to sit down and read a book, but I just don’t have the time anymore.”
  • “Every time I do about half a page, I get a phone call that there’s some emergency, this or that. I don’t get to read very much.” – 2017
  • “I like bullets, or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.” – 2017

His words speak for themselves, don’t you think?

So, if you missed out on Friday’s National Read-a-Book Day, take a rain check and celebrate properly on Sunday!  I plan to!

80 thoughts on “Read The Book!

    • but he’ll claim that he loves the bible. Someone made a track of all the times during his silly campaign where he talked about loving the bible and it’s actually a pretty entertaining piece. I’ll be happy to send a link to you guys if you just want to hear the absurdity of it all for entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Though I am not a Christian, it seems to me that the evangelicals, even their leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Jr., Franklin Graham et al, cherry-pick their bible. They forgot the part about “do unto others” and being kind, and not judging “lest ye be judged”. I think they interpret it in such a way as to meet their own desires and conveniences. This is only one small part of why I stepped away from religion decades ago. When they will practically tar and feather a woman for having an abortion, but forgive a man who has had three wives and affairs too numerous to even count, who speaks vulgarly about women in general, and has basically no morals, then I have to question their morals. I don’t condemn others or begrudge them their religious beliefs, but when they start trying to impose their beliefs on me or others, then we’ve got a problem. Sigh. Why can we not just “live and let live”?

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    • I totally get it because when you have little ones like we both do or did, mine are a little older and in school now, but during those first few years, it’s hard to find the quiet to just sit and read a good book like I used to do when it was just me and Cindy and Matt. there’s no shame in not being able to find the time to read a good book since there are months when that’s just not possible but the real travesty is when someone purposely decides that he doesn’t need to read, thus the importance of the read a book day.

      being an English major, I also read a good bit back in college since my degree was a concentration on literature.

      My reading these days is more geared to books on issues related to spirituality, in particular, near death experiences and the like but I’ve got a wide range of books to catch up on from political thrillers, to books on music and a bunch of thrillers by some authors who I have gotten behind on over the years. This is why I’m interested in what you guys are reading so that I may diversify my browsing with suggestions that I probably wouldn’t think of myself.

      that’s the beauty of browsing and that kind of thing. Years ago, when borders was still around, do you guys remember that store? I used to go in and someone would walk through the audiobook isle with me and we’d just talk about what was on the shelves and I’d tell her what I was reading and she would make suggestions for more books. Those were great life moments for me and when I went to that same borders a few years later and told the guy that I wanted him to help me find some books if he could, he asked me “What are you interested in?” I said “I don’t know but I’ll know it when I find it. He wasn’t interested in helping me go through the audiobooks but I also understand that not everyone in customer service is going to have that level of enthusiasm.

      I like goodreads because you can look at the book shelves of other people or see related books to what you have on your shelve and have that aha moment of “oh that sounds like it would be a good one to read.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hey Scott!!! Indeed I DO remember Borders … I used to LOVE that store! Every Friday night when I would get off work, the girls would meet me at Borders and we would browse for a couple of hours before going out to eat. Miss Goose was a toddler then, and she loved having me read her a few books, then she would go play on the Lego table, or look at picture books while I browsed the stacks. I was heartbroken when they closed. I do love Barnes & Noble, but not quite as much as I loved Borders.

        I am on Goodreads, too, though I haven’t updated my lists for years now, but I used to post my reviews there and occasionally I still get a notification that somebody liked or commented on one of my reviews. I’ll send you a friend request there next time I’m on Goodreads!

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      • I was an English major, too 🙂

        Most of my reading lately has been resources to help my youngest, who was diagnosed with asperger’s back in June. Since this post reminded me that I haven’t read much lately (at least not for pleasure), I downloaded a John Grisham book for a quick and entertaining read.

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s my understanding that every president until the current one have been avid readers. I know that Obama read several books each week, but then … he was a professor of Constitutional Law before entering politics, whereas the current occupant of the Oval Office was a former casino operator and t.v. persona. Hmmmmm … what does this tell us?

      I don’t read as many books as I used to either, but … sigh … I read news and politics for 6 hours a day or so. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I thought you’d never ask! Just a few of the 6 or 7 on my bed are:
      Stamped from the Beginning: The Definintve History of Racist Ideas by Ibram Kendi
      These Truths by Jill Lepore
      Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathanial Philbrick
      The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees
      and for fiction …
      Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter

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      • I’ve heard of Catherine Colter but haven’t read any of her books yet.

        Cindy and I are currently watching the bones series form beginning to end which is based on a series of books. The personal dynamics between the characters on that show are sometimes more fascinating than the murder cases they’re trying to solve. I think we’re on season 4 now, only 8 more to go.

        I just looked up Catherine Colter on bookshare and she is truly a prolific author and has more series than I thought.

        I need to get that coffee. lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Coulter’s books are fun … edge of your seat type of mystery. If you decide to try one, get one with the characters Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock … husband and wife FBI team.

          The Bones series you mention … was that based on the series of books by Kathy Reichs? I read one or two of those way back when.

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  1. Jill, well said. Like you, I have several open at one time. The Mattis book looks interesting. The list of reasons for reading are excellent. Whether they look back, at today or forward, we learn. Hugh wrote recently of “Brave New World” in an aptly titled post “Prescient.” This and books like “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” give cautions as to what could happen (and is to some extent).

    Thanks, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • PS – Ironically, I just watched an interview on CBS with Margaret Atwood. She said never thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” could not happen here, in 1984, she witnessed an autocrat behind the Iron Curtain mandate that women bear four children, and she has a sequel being released this week called “The Testaments.” Keith

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      • I did not know there was a sequel coming out to The Handmaid’s Tale!!! Like her, I never thought, when I read The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, and Brave New World back in my college days, that we would ever see the day that we compared the U.S. to these dystopian ‘fictional’ worlds. I’ll be on the lookout for her book when we go to B&N next week!

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        • I have to admit to having never read the handmaids tale. I also read the other two books in college and remember liking 1984 better than brave new world.

          I think I also read doors of perception by Aldus Huxley and recall liking that one pretty well. I’m going totally on my memory without cheating and using google to look any of this up, probably not the best thing to do before even having my first cup of coffee. lol.’

          Liked by 1 person

          • I liked 1984 better, too, but I think Brave New World made me think harder, broadened my scope a bit more.

            Ha ha … I know what you mean about the coffee! My mind doesn’t kick in until I at least smell it brewing!

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    • Thanks Keith! The Mattis book does sound interesting. It isn’t a ‘tell-all’ about his short time in the Trump administration, but rather a memoir of his life, his military career. Yes, I read Hugh’s excellent post, and now want to read Huxley’s sequel, “Brave New World Revisited”, based on Hugh’s assessment. Those novels were all both dystopian and, as we are seeing, prophetic to a degree. I read them all many decades ago, and never dreamed we would start seeing the signs. Sigh.

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  2. You know I am a voracious reader. And if your followers can’t think of a book to read there’s always “Alone In The Labyrinth” which is still available at Amazon (isn’t everything available at Amazon??) Take care and thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re probably right, and most likely because he wore it out with all his tweeting! I’m sure you’re also right about his reading skills level … I don’t think he was able to read the Dr. Seuss book I sent him a few years back, for I never received a ‘thank-you’ note from him.
      Cwtch

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  3. I was an avid reader of books as a child. I loved my local library where I would exchange books at a rapid, dizzying pace. I spent many nights reading books with a torch (flashlight) under the bedclothes.
    My reading did slow a little through adult years with work commitments and other hobbies. Now, I live in such a small space (boat) and constantly on the move, books are neither readily available, nor storeable. I occasionally pick up a book, read it in a day and then leave it somewhere for someone else to read, but now most of my reading is on line on my android phone. It isn’t my favorite medium, but it is the most convenient for now.
    I read every day for a large part of the day. Mostly, it is articles, rather than books, but if I don’t get a daily fix of reading, I start to feel very unfulfilled.

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    • I know what you mean about feeling unfulfilled if you don’t get to read each day. I read probably 50-60 news articles each day, but I find that if I don’t read an actual book for at least an hour or so, I still feel somehow bereft. I have a Kindle, which is great and I love it, but still, I find there is nothing quite like holding an actual book in your hands … not sure why that is!

      Liked by 1 person

      • A lot of people love the tangibility of a product, after all, vinyl records are making a comeback. I remember a while ago, reading that Elvis castello pressed one of his albums on 78 rpm record to avoid piracy. It probably wasn’t true but it was still entertaining.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know! It seems that every week when I enter Barnes & Noble, the section of vinyl records has grown since the prior week! I remember 78s!!! And, though CDs are nice, and durable, and all that, there was nothing like the smell of a 33LP being taken out of its jacket when I was a kid in the 1950s. Sigh. Nostalgia sets in now …

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          • I have those same memories from growing up in the 70’s. I could always guess my Christmas presents because of their shape but I still wouldn’t know which record my parents got me because I always had a big list for the holidays. The only exception to that rule was the rolling stones album “through the Past Darkly where I first heard Ruby Tuesday. See, I just connected two of your blog posts. That album cover was in the shape of an octagon and I played it so much that my parents had to get me new copies almost every year. lol. That’s still my favorite Stones album.

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              • yes, I was playing with record players and tape recorders since I was very small though I didn’t start composing music until 1990 or so. I took a long break from around 199 to 2012 but since then have made up for lost time obviously. lol. I’ll pm you a link to a recording of my early work form the 90’s which sounds a bit dated but it’s a lot more melodic than the music I write today, for the most part anyway.

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                    • Miss Goose is the artiste in this family, and has even sold a bit of her artwork. I’ll send you a sample via email tomorrow.

                      Scott … I have only listened to 3-4 of the songs on your “Lost Early Archives”, but … I LOVE what I have heard! Would you mind if I used one for my music post later this week … with proper attribution, of course!

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                    • Thanks, Scott!!! Uh-oh … I did it again … I forgot you wouldn’t be able to see it. She does manga art mostly. Your kids would probably like it, though … if they are into things like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario, etc.

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                    • I haven’t heard of manga art, is that done with traditional paint or computer generated?

                      A lot of musicians were artists before they took up music, Steve Roach and Lucette Bourdin come to mind as two of my favorites. Luccette died in 2011 after battling breast cancer which was actually the impitus for her getting into creating music in the first place? She said “if not now, when?”

                      If she were still around, I imagine that we would have collaborated on at least one album together.

                      hugs my friend.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hmmmm … manga is sort of like elaborate cartooning. It can be done in any medium, but Goose mostly uses pencil/coloured pencil, and computer programs … she uses Paint Shop Pro, and another that I cannot think of the name offhand. She had a request for a design by a unit of the Army that her friend is serving in not long ago, and they used it to make t-shirts for the whole unit, and paid her for her design. She would very much like to become a graphic artist at some point.

                      Since I had not heard of Lucette Bourdin, I looked her up … I love that saying, “If not now, when?” Words to live by, my friend.

                      Huge hugs, Scott!

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  4. I try to read every day, sometimes I fail. Whereas I used to read a book cover to cover in one sitting, I can no longer do that, my eyes have slowed down. I read much more fiction than non-fiction because I find more reality in a lot of fiction, though not all. Lately I have been concentrating on fiction written prior to World War I, which though the reading is difficult and wordy compared to today, the writers had more themes that had not yet been as thoroughly explored as they are today. It was their imaginations that current writers take a lot of ideas from. So, happy reading day!
    And for those who don’t know yet, Filosofa’s blog is very much worth reading. Very enjoyable, and politicall enlightening.

    Liked by 4 people

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