Friday, April 29, 2011

A Book of Value

There are several books in our home that we use frequently, read often, and think highly of. Offhand, I would say the Bible, Young's Concordance,The American Heritage Dictionary, and a myriad of cookbooks probably top the list. Then there are the favorites in my daughters collection; namely The Little Red Hen, Goodnight Moon, Anything Dr. Seuss, Biscuit books, Harry The Dirty Dog, Watch Out For The Chicken Feet In Your Soup,and Geraldine's Blanket. But the book which has given us the most value and pleasure, besides the Bible, is A Guide To Field Identification-Birds of North America.

I have owned this book for many years; twenty-four years to be exact. I owned this book before I married my first husband, and I used it to identify backyard specimens. After I married, we used it on camping trips with our nieces and spent many a happy hike looking for birds we had never personally seen before. When my first husband passed away, I must admit this book sat idle on the shelf for a few years, but I imagine that is understandable.

But since remarrying several years ago and giving birth to a lively young daughter who is interested in everything around her, A Guide To Field Identification once again became the book of choice. Not only do we use it to identify the ever changing variety of birds that visit our backyard feeders, we use it to identify birds we see wherever we travel. Just a few weeks ago we used it to identify a Yellow-Shafted Flicker of the female persuasion. While apparently, Flickers are quite common,It was a new and pleasant experience for the three of us to view one.

I know that this particular book, originally purchased for $6.95, has given me and numerous family members an immeasurable amount of pleasure for many years and will probably continue to do so for many more.Which leads me to ask, What book do you own that you consider "A Book of Value"? Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reading Do's and Don'ts

I am a prolific reader, a writer, a published author; so it stands to reason that I would promote reading. And I do. I encourage both children and adults to read. I promote reading silently; I promote reading out loud. I promote reading newspapers, magazines, articles, books, pamphlets, tracts, and so forth. I'll shout it from the mountain tops in a Seuss like form. Read in the city, the bathroom, the park. Read in the morning or after it's dark. Read to your self or to your best friend. As long as you read again and again.

But rhyming aside, I would like to say there are some reading related instances that I've seen which cause me to pause or even to cringe; and one of those things I witnessed this morning. As I was driving home from dropping my daughter off at school, I saw a man reading a newspaper at a red light. So what's wrong with that you might ask? Well, normally I would say nothing if it was not for the fact that the man continued to read as the light turned green and he made a left hand turn. Not only did he read his paper as he turned the corner, he glanced quickly at the road in front of him and then back at his newspaper for several seconds.

I used to think people who talked on their cell phones while driving were one of society's greatest menaces; but after seeing "Newspaper Man" reading while driving, I now relegate that offense to a distant second. Reading is indeed a wonderful thing, taking us to far off places that we might never know of otherwise, increasing our knowledge of the world around us, giving us a break from realities and problems that might otherwise overwhelm us. But, reading should never, never cause us to be a danger to ourselves or others around us. So my advice to "Newspaper Man" is to either get up a few minutes early so you have time to read the paper, or wait until you get to wherever you are going. Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!