I did not grow up a reader. I can only remember a few books, one or two, that I read as a child in school. I grew up in a normal school and home setting for the most part, but I don’t remember being a family that read. I had friends along the way that I noticed devoured books and I envied them.
Danny was one of those friends. His parents were well read and they were smart. They talked about politics and things going on in the world. They also read the bible. To this day Danny reads every night before he goes to sleep.
Somewhere along the way, in my mid twenties, I began to read. I think it was Danny who inspired me to read again and the first books I chose. I started reading the James Clavel series Shogun, Taipan and the others. Then I read a couple huge books on mergers and corporate takeovers rolling straight into a series of business biographies. These were all long reads and each time I completed one it became a special trophy, an accomplishment I was very proud of.
When I had my birthday recently I got a book from my wife, Wilderness Challenge by William G. Collins. I read that book over the weekend and loved it. It is now on my favorites list. Another favorite is Waiting for White Horses by Nathan Jorgenson. Both these books took me on an adventure, moved me to thought and emotion. Those are the things I look for in a book. Interestingly these were both first book for the authors.
Reading is a lost art to many. I have a friend, Ben Raider, who is an author. He has written a series of really funny books built around a game warden and his adventures. The problem that he and I have talked about many times is that it is hard to get the guys who would enjoy his books to read them. Outdoor guys are good on magazines, but not necessarily books. I remember once at an event we had tons of kids coming by our booths. He had books, I had stickers and pencils. The kids avoided him and flocked to the free stuff we had. By the end of the weekend we were laughing as he tried to coax kids in to see some literature. A book. They were confused and all but interested. Sad but true.
My kids have been read to almost every night since they were small. They are now good readers. I give that credit to my wife. Her consistency has paid off in dividends that will give to them for life. I love it when they read and tell me about their books. I will buy them almost any book they want to read. I actually have found a used book online is a great buy and I buy them a lot.
I could always read more. I should read more. When I read a book I love to feel it, to laugh and cry and be excited to get back to it. I love the feeling of not wanting to be interrupted or rushing back to it after a day of work or a distraction.
Coming from a high school drop-out background Satan always tries to convince me I am not worthy or smart, but he is wrong. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to read, the gift of emotion and a world of books, including His. I can read the bible everyday and understand something new.
Now I wear reading glasses and they can be a hassle. I have electronic distractions everywhere; I carry one on my side (Blackberry phone). But there is nothing like a book, a story on paper that takes you somewhere, teaches you something or just makes you feel good. So remember what my good buddy Ben Raider says, “Hey kids look, literature – it’s OK”.
Take a minute, enjoy that quiet time. Enjoy the adventure of a book.