Thursday, February 11, 2021

On the value of reading

 I'm convinced that we retain more from our early formative years than we realize -- or maybe we later realize some of it from the results.  In my own case I was raised by my paternal grandmother until I was ten. She had lost her hearing in her adolescence for a year or two and so never finished high school.  She made up for it by reading and convinced me that reading was the most important thing I could do.  One could read greater teachers than our schools could provide.  My first library card was a very big deal for me.  I describe my feelings after I got back from Korea as not liking the peace-time-Marines and list that as my reason for not shipping over.  And yet I spent my free time at the 29 Palms base library reading "classics," and I supplemented those by subscribing to Black's "Classics Club" which involved receiving a new book every month.  So perhaps I have deceived myself by thinking I might have shipped over if I was promised some agreeable duty.  Perhaps the books I carried about in my sea bag counted more than any Marine Corps' promise could.

And now I am 86 years old, and quite content to be sequestered in my well-furnished house with my well-furnished library, reading one book after another.  I am pragmatist enough to need a purpose, but I recall that my grandmother gave me one years ago: keep reading.  It will equip you to do anything you want to do and make you more than a match for any future that awaits.

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