Not Cease from Exploration...a blog by Steve Albert

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Read

I was talking to someone the other day about my reading habits, which like just everything else about me is ever so slightly bent.  So what's the dealio?

First and foremost, I love to read.  I read constantly.  I am proud to say that my kids read constantly as well, as this was something that was strongly encouraged.  The fact that my daughters have a teacher for a mother didn't hurt as well.  We had books all over the place.  In fact, it kind of creeps me out when I go into a house and see no books laying around.  Conversely, when I go into a house and I see bookshelves filled with stuff I automatically get this feeling of quasi-comfort.  Reading isn't just an activity, it's a way of looking at the world.  It's a way of acknowledging "I don't know everything and so I am willing to learn".

While I do love to read, I don't love reading just anything.  Sure, the errant product label can make for an interesting diversion, but by and large there are fairly broad categories of things that I am interesting in reading about, and those for which I have no interest.  What I read most the most is probably the news. Whether it's the one or two newspapers I may read during the day, on-line news (I read Drudge, Foxnews, CNN, MSNBC, CNET and Space.com just about every day), or news magazines, I just love to consume the stuff.  I subscribe to three magazines by the way:  Bloomberg Businessweek, Mental Floss & Fast Company.  I'll also pick up a copy of Time every once in a while from Ms Rivers, when she is kind enough to share.  This stuff what I consider to be my "steady diet" of reading.

As for actual books, I have to say that I am not the biggest reader of fiction on the planet.  What works of fiction I have read over the years include mostly Star Wars and Star Trek novels.  I could list a few titles, but the list would end up being mighty short.  I've always been this way.  I recall getting into trouble during a summer program, back when I was about 12 or 13, because I would not read Hinton's "The Outsiders".  I just didn't really care about the adventures of Ponyboy...in my mind it was all just made up stuff anyway.  I still recall trying to explain this to my mother.

When it comes to books, I love biographies.  I've read so many over the years that I've lost count.  Probably by favorite was "First In His Class", which was written about Bill Clinton, but others that I've enjoyed include books about Keith Moon, John Lennon and Lee Iaccoca.  I know, not exactly the most mentally weighty stuff, but I do so enjoy it.  I also love reading books that center around personal growth. My current read is "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart" by Gordon Livingston, M.D., which is just outstanding.  I'd offer up a few more titles, but then I'd run the risk of having someone who is reading this really think I was a nut.  Speaking of odd (at least for a 47 year old man), I am a sucker for poetry, so I have a few of those books, including a well-worn copy of "The Poems of Emily Dickinson" (as edited by R.W. Franklin).

Lastly, I love reference books.  I have books on...

...music trivia
...cartoon anthologies (for Bloom County)
...quotations
...astronomy
...home improvement
...local history
...religion/philosophy.

...to name just a few topics.  Sometimes I find some find enjoyment in just picking up a book at random and going through a few pages before I go to bed.

Bottom line?  I don't know how anyone could live a life without consuming the written word.  It is, basically, glorious.  Read on!

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