Saturday, January 16, 2016

Books, Books, & More Books

I'm going to shoot for fifty books again this year. Fortunately, the Missus' health has improved so I won't be killing a lot of time at the hospital or the doctor's office, which means I'll have to work my reading time in someplace else in the daily schedule. Certainly not a complaint, mind you. I'd trade most anything for her to have continued good health.

My buddy Kevin and I started keeping track of our books five years ago. I've been doing pretty good keeping up. Kevin doesn't have the self-imposed 500 page limit like I do, so his page count normally is higher than mine but still, I read a lot and they're not comic books or graphic novels - some, however, are a bit graphic. I'm still amazed at some of the things the local library lends out. I don't think there was a single page with the "F" bomb on it when I was a kid. Not the case anymore. Anyway, here's the tally for the last five years.

2011: 48
2012: 52
2013: 58
2014: 37
2015: 53

A bit off the pace in 2014 but lots of other things accomplished that year - got the house painted, brought the Sportster home, etc. I've got four read this year so far. Two were who-dunnits that I breezed through, the other two were technical books that I had started last year but finished up this past week. This one's next on the list:

I've got several of the HD Italian made lightweights, so this is right up my alley. Maybe more like in my "power band". The guy I bought my Sportster from bought a bike from me and tossed this in. Awfully kind of him. After the Aermacchi book I think I'll tackle either the Malcolm Smith autobiography or the story of the Rough Riders by Teddy Roosevelt. I've read a bit on Teddy before but he and Winston Churchill are the two politicians that I find most interesting. I need to find a good biography on Robert E. Lee also (probably ought to hurry up with that one before anything connected to the Civil War gets banned). If I keep reading on all of these diverse subjects, maybe someone will be able to work the word polymath into my obituary.

I read an editorial the other day in the WSJ by a librarian - someone with an actual degree in library science - on the changing role of libraries and librarians. Some colleges are dropping their library science programs. I can understand that. If you need to find out about something now days, no need to ask a librarian, just Google it. Also you can get most new books as a download and more and more older books are becoming available in a digital format. Technology is great but I've got a lot of books in my personal library that are reference books that aren't easily obtainable. I've got lots of welding and metal working books - I was a regular customer of Lindsay when he was in business - along with a bunch of railroad and motorcycle books. I've also got a bunch of books that I bought from the local libraries when they had their book sales. Those are a one and done. As I finish reading them, I've been dropping them off in the Goodwill drop box at the college.

Whether it's hardback, paperback or digital, read! Read to your little ones so they'll get into the habit of reading. And from the long dormant Starlet Showcase blog, I'll leave you with his advice to high schoolers. I've posted it before but it's worth repeating.

Anyway, here's my advice: read a book, read lots of books, keep your face washed and don't worry about your complexion too much, don't give your teachers a hard time, don't be late for everything, always use condoms, get plenty of sleep but not during class, and if you go home with someone and he doesn't own any books, don't sleep with him. That's basically it. Have fun.

I've got to go now - I've got some reading to catch up on.


Kevin Kaluf said...

I'll make sure Surly gets "polymath" in the obituary.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Thanks, Bro. New I could count on you.