Monday, February 24, 2014


I am a reader. I come from a family of readers. I am also a fast reader. I never learned nor was I ever taught how to read fast. I blame (credit) my father for that. He was a speed reader as well. Unlike the speed reading classes I have looked at, I don't scan down the middle of paragraphs nor do I skip words, I read every one.

I can remember learning to read. It was like I cracked the necessary code. My first grade teacher (remember, in those days we did not have kindergarten, let alone pre-school) had been introducing her class to individual words. (Learn by rote memorization, no phonics here!). In the Dick and Jane books we had seen "way" and "all" as we read the stories. I was looking ahead and ran into the word "always" and of course, didn't know it as we hadn't learned it yet. But, while I had my hand raised waiting for the teacher to tell me what it was, it clicked. I knew that word! And away I went. I quickly learned to use context to figure out other new words. It may not have been orthodox, but it worked for me.

I can remember chuckling when I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and heard the heroine say she had started at the end of the "a" row in the library, planning to read every book in order. I tried that too -- and made it several feet before I got tired of some of the more "boring" books I kept running into. I can remember how fortunate I was that my teachers recognized my abilities and got me access to the high school library when I was still in grade school. I have always loved books.

Fortunately, I have daughters who love books and who married guys who love books. And they created children who also love to read. I have chuckled so hard when I have spotted g-children reading under the covers with a flashlight after bedtime lights-out. I can remember doing that too! Christmas and birthdays in our family have always had a present plus at least one book for everyone as gifts.

Even our Son Sean, who is autistic, values books and spends a great deal of his time poring over books on antique silver and furniture as well as architecture. He is well known in the NW history section of the public library and is considered a resource by the antique dealer he works with.

Back in the days before my Kindle and iPad, I used to keep a stack of books by my bed that I was reading. There was usually an autobiography or a biography, something that pertained to health care or administration and something light and fluffy. I might spend a few days reading something in the first two while flitting through two or three of the lightweights every day.

Now, I have a few thousand books at my fingertips on my iPad. I recently went to the Maricopa County Library and got a library card, so now I have their books available in electronic format as well. The mix tends more towards mysteries, science fiction, travel and historical fiction these days, but I still read at least one or two a day (or night). Not having a great deal of storage space in the RV, e-books have been a real blessing.

I did get a hardbound book in the mail today. I deliberately ordered a hardbound copy of Jacob's Choice, Return to Northkill Book 1, by Ervin Stutzman, so that I can donate it to the church library when I am finished with it.

Books are one of the blessings in life that I am most thankful for. Reading is one of the skills that make my life a journey!

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