An Idea for the New Year

readingSome years ago I received a copy of the following from a United Technologies advertisement in the Wall Street Journal. It remains a great idea today.

Tonight at the dinner table,
read something out loud to your family.
Tomorrow night, let another member read something.
A news story.
A Bible verse.
A Robert Frost poem.
A cereal box panel.
History.
Humor.
Anything. 
Each night a different family member can read a selection.
Imagine the wide range of subjects
your family will read in 365 days.
What a stimulating way to have your children develop good reading habits.
We have 23 million illiterate adults in America.
We wouldn’t have one,
if each of them had been served reading
as part of their nightly diet.
It’s non-fattening,
but enriching.
And it doesn’t cost a dime.

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Lottie Loved to Read

SDC10523When first married, my husband and I lived in a cute little house in a small town. Our next door neighbor, Lottie, was well past 90. She was unsteady on her feet but she kept busy. Lottie knitted lap blankets for “the old folks in the nursing home.” She liked to sit on her front porch and watch the children walking to and from school.
          One spring morning Lottie was nestled in her porch swing when the postman delivered the latest Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Four or five current best selling novels were printed in abbreviated form in one volume. Lottie started reading the first book.
          When children began walking home after school that day, Lottie was sitting in her porch swing as usual. However, she had not moved from that seat all day. She had read that entire volume of books from cover to cover.
          And what books did Lottie read that spring day? Volume 85 (Spring 1971) contained:
Halic: The Story of a Gray Seal by Ewan Clarkson
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Six-Horse Hitch by Janice Holt Giles
Bomber by Len Deighton
A Woman in the House by Wm. E. Barrett

Reader’s Digest Condensed Books were published for 47 years (1950-1997). The quarterly volumes usually contained five stories. By the early 1990s, publication was increased to bi-monthly. The popular series continues today as Reader’s Digest Select Editions.

Summer Reading #3: Airports

During a recent layover on B Concourse at Denver International Airport, I made a visual survey of how travelers spent their waiting time. I visited four gates where passengers were bound for Dallas, Santa Barbara, Toronto and Wichita plus a general waiting area in the middle of the concourse. Here is what I observed:

30.8% watched other people, talked to a companion, or slept
27.7% read a book
18.5% used a cell phone to talk, text, or play games
15.4% used a laptop computer
  4.6% wrote using pen and paper
  3.0% listened to audio devices
In addition, 9.0% used two or more devices at one time

Of those reading books, all held paperbacks. No Kindles or similar devices were in use.

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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