Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reading Really is Fundamental

How did I get to be where I am if I was not a great student in school? I think the one thing that saved me is that I have always had an insatiable appetite for reading.

Reading is another activity that has been important to my family. My late paternal grandmother, Izora Redd, was an avid reader. Her favorite saying when it came to anything that was happening in the news locally was, "The paper said..." If it was in the newspaper, she read it, and it was the gospel. I remember when I was a senior in high school, and I told her that I was going to apply for job at a local retail store. Before I could finish telling her about the job, she filled in the blanks by telling me where the store was located and what job was open. How did she know? She read Want-ads in the newspaper.

My father also loved to read. Books and magazines filled our home. Dad subscribed to magazines like Omni, Psychology Today, Time and Newsweek, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times. After a while, we’d have so many magazines piled up around the house, that Dad would put them in shopping bags and take them to his brothers for them to read.

The first thing my father did (and still does) every morning was read the local newspaper. Even to this day no one is allowed to even touch the newspaper before he reads it first. Of course, the running joke is if we touch it, we’d better make sure to put it back nice and neat before he comes to the kitchen table for breakfast and gets his hands on it. I didn’t read many books when I was in elementary school. My favorite periodical was the Childcraft Encyclopedia, and I read every one of them. My favorite was Book #10: Places to Know.

I began to fall in love with books when I was around 12 years old, but it was somewhat comical how it happened. During the summers, I loved watching the soap opera, All My Children, which came on television everyday at 1:00 p.m. Dad, however, loved to go to the library at least two-to-three times a week—at 1:00 p.m., and he was always going to make my sister and I go with him. Needless to say, I was always a little miffed on the ride to the library. So, to bide my time, I horsed around. I threw spitballs at my sister or anything that would make her laugh out loud and hear her voice echo with throughout the quiet building. Of course, Dad didn’t like that at all. He spent more time trying to discipline the two of us than finding the books he wanted.

My bookshelves at home are filled with biographies, in different genres—business, government, politics, religion and sports. Being exposed to the importance of education, learning, and various types of periodicals, has had a positive effect on me.

What about you? Are you an avid reader? What are some of your favorite books?  

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