The Gift Of Reading

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Bill Boggs, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    The Gift of Reading



    I have not always been a reader. Growing up I read comic books and some time during my twelfth year I started reading western paperback novels. I think it was in the eighth grade, maybe an english class our teacher marched us to the school library and told us to check out four books. I think i was the only one in the class who had not found anything to check. The teacher insisted I find something to read preferably something I was interested in. Finally she helped me.She asked if I liked stories of the far north, stories of pirates. Too many big words. She told us to write a report on one of our books. I did along with everybody else but I did a poor job. I didn’t know how to go about writing a report.. We were made to read these reports aloud in class. I was embarrassed. I was a poor reader up until after I married.


    Early on around the sixth or seventh grade my uncle used to visit us occasionally. We lived in Wichita Falls, Texas. My uncle lived in Breckenridge, a hundred miles or so to the south. On his visits he always brought a western paper back novel with him. We would sit around in the living room which also was where mom and dad’s bed was located. The room had one chair beside the bed. Dad would sit in the chair, mom on the bed and I would either sit on the bed on on the floor. My uncle Sam would always sit on the floor, his back to the wall and sometime for hours at night they would talk. Mom and dad were always eager for news of the family and uncle Sam stayed in touch with everyone so he was always a source of family news.


    If there was a lag in the conversation, Sam would pull out his book from his hip pocket and read a while until either mom or dad asked a question or said something and then conversation would resume. I always wanted to listen in when uncle Sam would visit.


    Dad couldn’t read. He tried to read the bible and often mother would read it to him. And sometime the newspaper if someone brought one to the house and left it. When dad’s brother, Sam would visit and he would pull out his book to read when conversation lagged, It would irritate dad to no end. He would say, “I don’t know why you come to visit if all you’re going to do is sit there and read.” Sometime an argument would ensue and on a couple of occasions uncle Sam would get up and leave. Go stay with a sister who lived nearby or drive back to Breckenridge. On one of those occasions, as he was packing up his stuff to leave and I was carrying something out to his truck for him, he reached behind the seat and handed me a western paperback novel, “Yo might enjoy reading this sometime, but I wouldn’t let your daddy catch you reading.” I told him I would read it and thanked him and told him I hated to see him go. He said, ”It is better this way.”


    Shortly after my discharge from the army I got a job with Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company. When they hired me they told me in a couple of weeks I’d have to move to Rankin. We moved at our own expense. The country around Rankin was sheep country and oil. A place to live was hard to find so we lived in Big Lake which was fifteen or twenty miles east of Rankin and drove to Rankin each morning to work. I would go to work at five or six in the morning and often get home at night after midnight. We were guaranteed one hundred and twenty hours a week regardless of how few we worked but not expected to complain if we had to work more.


    I was assigned to the Frac Department, a dirty, often oil-soaked job and most often traveled to a location to work a hundred or more miles to each day. My roommate was afraid to stay by herself often alone over night but she toughed it out. Rankin had a one room library. I think Ann read every book in the library. She was their best patron. The first friends she made in Rankin were the librarians.


    When we moved back to Wichita Falls, Ann was happy because they had a large library. I worked for Texas Electric Service Company six years before we moved to Lubbock. In Lubbock, Ann in addition to holding down a job, got involved with Friends of the Library. And she read a lot. It was in Lubbock I began to read something other than what I was not required to read and of course, Westerns. I realized I was not a good reader. A slow reader, I think I read on a good day maybe four hundred words a minute. During our tenure in Lubbock, I took or studied three speed reading courses. The best one for me was one my brother who was a career airman in the Air Force sent me. It was put out by the Air Force. My speed and comprehension increased dramatically so that i really enjoyed reading.


    Now after a lengthy retirement my roommate does not see well enough to read much. I am blind in on eye. Some time ago I would read aloud something that held an interest for us both. This morning she said to me, “I wish you would look at this book and see if you think it is something we could read together. I have examined the book. It is “The Artist’s Way.” A sub title says, ‘A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Spiritual Self.’ This is something we do at the end of day after we have gone to bed. I think Ann will enjoy it. She is a very creative person and I may learn something. So as they say in the movies or perhaps elsewhere, the journey continues.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  2. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Lovely @Bill Boggs...just lovely. :)

    I have always loved to read since the moment I could. Reading is a gift to me and when I can no longer read with my eyes...I hope I will be able to hear someone read to me with my ears. :)

    Do you and your wife ever listen to the books on Audio...from what I understand there are plenty now and for even a lot of free ones for those who have impaired or no vision.

    http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/free-books-on-tape.html
     
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  3. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Up to this point we have not. Thanks for your lovely comment.
     
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  4. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I may have to quit using this particular forum. I seem to be one of the few using it a present. Too much saturation with my name on it.. Hadn't noticed till now. I'll try to slow down my comments here.
     
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  5. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    Bill... Do not worry about that...please....just keep doing like you have been doing !
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    You ARE joshing us, right , @Bill Boggs ? ?
     
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  7. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Perhaps forum was not the right word. I meant to say the Tall Tales & Fabrications. No, I like this
    Forum. I'm mrely over using one section of it.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Audiobooks are great for long drives, but I find that if I am playing one at home my mind wanders too much for me to follow it. At times when my wife is away for a few days, sometimes I'll play an audiobook when I go to bed, as it seems to direct my dreams, which can be fun, and after the second or third playing, I feel like I know what the book was about. I used to do most of my reading after going to bed at night, staying up for a couple of hours reading. Lately, though, I fall asleep within ten or fifteen minutes.
     
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    When it gets to the point where one can no longer read the books themselves, even if it will take some getting used to audio books being read to us will be better than no reading in any shape or form at all....to me. :)

    I do have the Bible on CD's and I often listen to it being read to me through my headphones before I go to sleep or early in the morning when I don't want to disturb my husband's sleep. :)
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Reading fiction went to the wayside a number of years ago. As an avid reader and follower of such great talents as Dickens, Longfellow, Tolstoy, Poe and even Asimov and Dante, I didn't make room for the solving of life's continual puzzles.
    I have a voracious appetite for researching puzzles that give a greater reasoning and logic behind the things I do, can do, or could do and moreover, answering the question, why? Why what? Anything because everything is indeed a puzzle to be solved.

    I read anything that helps make sense of the seemingly random, illogical and sometimes perverse universe we live in and bring things into a practical focus by which I can understand it and even possibly teach it. To paraphrase Einstein, "if you cannot teach it, you do not understand it".

    So yes, reading is indeed a gift. Throughout the learning experiences of mankind and the written logs that give testimony to them in the form of a chain of experience and knowledge, how else could I become part of that chain but to experience it through the written word?
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I can't remember the words he used, but I recall a teacher in elementary school trying to explain the difference between being able to interpret words and sentences and knowing how to read, reading being the ability to either lose or find yourself in the words on the paper. Most people can be taught how to recognize words and sentences, in order, but if you are unable to appreciate a good book, then you have not really learned how to read.

    Then I remember another teacher in elementary school, writing in the comments section of my report card, "Reads too much."
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Oh I so agree with this! :)

    To lose myself in a good book and feel that I am right there along with the rest of those in the story living it with them, feeling their emotions...is wonderful. And often when I get to the end of the story I just want it to continue on instead of ending.

    I often find my soul's expressions in the things I read too.
     
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  13. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bill Boggs enjoyed your story and reminded me of how reading was such a struggle for me.

    Growing up, I wanted to read and with the help of family and teachers, I got by.
    Just 'Got By' is all it was.

    It wasn't till I was in the Military that I was sent to the English department
    at the local University.

    After much testing, the type of Dyslexia I have was discovered.
    I have written on here before about my tenacity to start reading 'right to left'
    and word reversal.

    Now I read everything I can get my hands on.

    Don't blame my teachers for not knowing about Dyslexia, it was the 50's
    when I entered school, in a small Southern town.

    Maybe because of this, I really enjoy Audiobooks. I've read a book, then listen to the
    same book on my phone and with the right Narrator, can bring new life to the book.
     
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  14. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I agree that the right Narrator does make a big difference in whether one enjoys audio books.

    Although I love listening to my Bible CD's the Narrator speaks to fast in my opinion and doesn't give me time to soak in God's Word. :)
     
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  15. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I have always been a reader. Once when we were driving down to the coast my DH said to me, "I don't see how you can sit there with your head in that book." What he didn't know and never understood was; my body was in that seat but my mind was on another planet fighting "Threadfall" from the back of flying dragons. :D
     
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  16. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Yes! People who aren't readers just don't understand that you are not just reading a book...you are living it right along with the other characters. :)
     
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  17. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Is Audio Books CD's?
     
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  18. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    They can be streaming, but also CDs, yes.
     
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  19. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I didn't know audio books could be streamed. Thanks.
     
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  20. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I just bought one through iTunes. I think you can find free ones in the KJV but I bought one in the NKJV instead. I'll play mine through my MacBook.
     
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  21. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    My audio CD's are the NKJV too. : )
     
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