Book ‘Em, Danno
I was always a fast reader. I don’t know how and when I developed the technique, but I somehow discovered the ability to quickly skim a page of text and retain the gist of what was there. Teachers often thought that I was pretending to read because I finished before anyone else. They would try to expose my duplicity by asking questions about what I had so quickly skimmed through. I always stumped them by answering their questions correctly and in surprising depth.
In those days, I was hardly ever without a book nearby. The Hardy Boys Mysteries were my favorite. Joe and Frank Hardy were the brothers I never had who always found themselves in the middle of intrigue, danger, and adventure. I lost myself in their stories and read as many of them as I could get.
Other authors I enjoyed in my youth were Robert A. Heinlein who wrote some great science fiction. And I remember liking another Hardy Boyish series called Tom Corbett: Space Cadet. As far as I know only eight books were written of his space-faring exploits and I read and re-read every one.
I had at one time thought that the practice of reading for entertainment had died off. Today’s youth seemed to prefer sitting in front of a screen, be it television, computer, or arcade game rather than turning the pages of a book. But then, along came Harry Potter and, almost overnight, kids began reading again. Perhaps they never stopped.
Here’s hoping that the practice of reading for pleasure never dies off… replaced by technological distractions. There’s something about sitting down with a good book that can transport you, in your imagination, to other worlds or times that is simply magical.
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