Monday, July 03, 2017

Is Anyone Still Reading?

Greetings here at D & D.  I don't post here nearly as often as at The View From Here (please visit there as well!), but something I came across on twitter got me thinking of doing this post.

 Dark Clouds (@BornredNowblue) retweeted a tweet by Karen Swope (@AndthenIsleep) and it really was something to think about.  It was an infographic:

Those stats are something!  Where do I fall?  Well, I've certainly read books after high school AND after college. I certainly haven't completed each book I've started, though (I STILL have to get back to reading John Adams by David McCullough). Not sure the last time I was in an actual bookstore (and I hope used bookstores count), but I have bought books fairly recently. (To me that one stat is a bit unfair as there are fewer bookstores around these days and lots of people probably order online.) I certainly have been an avid reader since childhood. My parents definitely encouraged reading and both were readers. In their view, acquiring a new book was something special! I don't know for sure if that tradition has helped me understand others' emotions, however.

Now that last one is really a kicker!  One hour a day reading in your field can make you an international expert in 7 years??? I don't know how whoever created this arrived at such a stat, but what it says really does give one something to at least think about.  Sort of reminds me of the 10,000 hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers (and yes, I have read that to completion and there's a review on this blog!)

Do I read? Well, although I'm probably very lax these days in reading books,  but I am reading.  I read news stories and reports online, and sometimes blog posts.  I probably spend too much time online, but a) I want to know what's going on, and b) blog posts don't write themselves; often I need to search  for just the right reference link to support where the post is going.  I'm sure there are at least some other folks who also do much of their reading in a somewhat similar fashion.  Plugging in to online sources and social media can really chip away at that reading time! I'm sure this is especially true for those who haven't been avid readers before. And even when I break away, I just often do not feel in the mood to take up a book. And rest assured, I have plenty here to choose from!  

I had believed that the last book I completed was White is a State of Mind by Melba Patillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine. Nope!  When I put in the related posts below (the ones with the book reviews I'm mentioning in this post) I see it must have been Outliers. Time really does fly for sure.

Well, getting back to Ms. Beals' book, it was an excellent book which I thoroughly enjoyed.  There's a review of that here on this blog as well.  I tend to read more nonfiction volumes.  I do read fiction occasionally, but that poses its own small problem.  If it's fiction I don't want anything less than a happy ending.  I sometimes enjoy a romance novel, but at times such stories can be "cookie cutter."  

The last book I started was Tomlinson Hill by Chris Tomlinson.  This was to be a story of his family and the family of retired NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson (who I'd actually known of during his playing days!).  Saw a story on tv about it and watched the excellent AfterWords on C-Span book tv with Chris and LaDainian's brother. I was really anxious to read it and had high hopes.  Bur so far I've been pretty disappointed.  After  LaDainian's foreword (quite good for a non-pro writer) and the first few chapters, it got bogged down in Civil War stuff (I have ZERO interest in reading about Civil War battles) and Texas history which often centered on efforts at discrimination against African-Americans.  Although I kept wishing some folks who would gloss over such systematic efforts would read what Tomlinson details here, I just found it depressing.  So I've been stalled around midway through Chapter 11.  Maybe it will pick up later; I just haven't been motivated to pick up reading again.

I have plenty of books just waiting for when I feel up to starting a different one.  Not that long ago I acquired maybe 7 more!  So probably the next one I start will be one of those.  I'm thinking either The Material Gene by Kelly E. Happe or At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire.  Both are nonfiction and I've seen both authors on Booktv!

Now as far as getting folks to read books in general. I'm all for that.  The college I taught at (I'm retired now) has an ongoing "One Book, One College" program and they also outreach to try to involve the community.  I believe some cities also have similar programs. Some civic organizations may have some sort of book club!  For example AAUW (American Association of University Women) has an Adelante Book of the Month Club.  They even host online chats with the authors. There are book discussion groups all over, often sponsored by libraries or bookstores.  Those type of things are a great way for folks to get reading. We also need to dispatch with the idea that reading books especially, is somehow elitist.  Learning something or even just getting lost in a story isn't elitist. It's a positive way of engaging your mind!  Hey, there's a Moody Blues song, "Thinking is the Best Way to Travel"!  Think they're on to something? Well, books can certainly help fuel the journey. So I do hope more folks get involved and pick up a book once in a while. Don't you think?

Don't be shy - comments would be so welcome!

Related Posts: 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom - 2017

Wow - anyone out there?  Hard to believe time passes so quickly.  I do believe my last post here was the annual birthday salute to Dad.  I do concentrate on my other blog, The View From Here, so it's hard often to know what to post here.  And do visit there  - often!

Anyway, TODAY would be Mom's birthday.  What more can I say about her?  She loved the family.  Very proud grad of Glassboro State/Rowan.  Very exceptional teacher (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who would say that ----- just ask some of her former students!).  Fine poet. Very commited Christian and Episcopalian who really lived her faith.  Of course, she could be stubborn at times (family trait and I'll give you one guess who else has inherited that!) I tell the story on my other blog of how it took both Dad and me to convince her NOT to wear an orange outfit one St. Patrick's Day.  Still, just over all a great lady!

So there it is.  I hope these good wish vibes go out beyond!  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad, for 2017! (With an UPDATE!)

Yes, indeed, time keeps moving on.

So it's time to wish my late Father a Happy Birthday.  As I did on Mom's last birthday, here's a list of some cool events which happened on Dad's special day.

  • 1697 - Sir Isaac Newton receives AND SOLVES Jean Bernoulli's 6 Month Time Limit Problem
  • 1788 - The British First Fleet sails into now what is Sydney Harbor; this date now commemorated in Australia as Australia Day
  • 1790 - Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte premieres in Vienna
  • 1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th (!) U. S. state
  • 1925 - Actor and entrepreneur Paul Newman is born
  • 1948 - Executive Order ending racial segregation in the U. S.  Armed Forces is signed
  • 1992 - The Americans with Disabilities Act goes into effect

 So there you go, some cool stuff indeed. 

Happy Birthday, Dad and enjoy your special day cosmically somehow, some way!


The Google doodle told me... today was also the birthday of Bessie Coleman, first African-American/Native American female pilot.  I'm sure Dad, who once had a private pilot's liscence, would approve!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Harmony, Healing, Hope

Here's something I wrote and have set against a starry background.

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Went to a local restaurant for breakfast today. As I checked out, I noticed a wall hanging behind the counter. I noted how lovely it was and asked the owners about it.  They said it someone made it for them and it was for good luck and protection.

So I just knew I had to do something similar graphically, even with my limited skills.


My original design - "Talisman"

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Some Abstract Art Just for Fun!

Last time I posted some fractal art I did.  Well, I was again in a playful mood and did some graphics with Paint.



"Watercolor in Pink and Gray"         


Saturday, July 02, 2016

My Fractal Art

Guess I just felt the need to do something creative but different.  I do try doing some graphics with paint but I'm always upfront I'm not an artist.  However sometimes more abstract stuff can work and haven't we heard of fractal art?

So I thought I'd see what could do in that regard.  I attempted to use several online generators but couldn't figure them out.  Finally did find one I could actually use..  Results are below.  Hope you enjoy!

'Silver Streaming'

"Bluezy Daydream'

'Glow of Symmetry'


'Cyan Chaining'