The ‘great escape’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

From the time I opened my first book at school I have been a devoted reader.

I took home my rubber-banded book and read the whole thing before I went to school the next morning. I often pulled two doors so they reached and read by the lamp that came through the crack.

When we started checking out books at the school library, I would finish my book days before we were allowed to go back to exchange our books. It was pure torture for me.

When my grandmother saw how I lived in anguish until I could get my next book, she took me to the library in town to get a card. She took me every Saturday to search through the books and select the ones I wanted to read. I checked out as many as I could carry and they were all read by the next Saturday. I just simply could not get enough.

Most of the books I read were history or biography. Even now they take up a good portion of my reading. I also like mysteries, funny stories, travel books and religious books. With the women of faith books, I combine funny and religion.

I average at least a book a week and sometimes as many as three.

I love history books because I am interested in how people before us lived. I can remember reading Egyptian history and being amazed that the women had pots of make-up just like we do. It wasn’t made of the same ingredients, but they served the same purpose. The men in those days used the make-up too.

In the history of Pompeii, I learned they had hot and cold running water and heat in their homes. Pipes with hot water running through them supplied the heat. Their bathrooms were lavish with large tubs and tiled floors. Most of the tiles were patterned and more impressive than any we see today.

In American history, small things like the use of dog collars hundreds of years ago surprised me.

History is also full of bad men doing the unthinkable to their fellow men. I recently read Peter Z. Malkin’s book &uot;Eichmann in My Hands.&uot; It is the story of the Israeli Secret Service man who captured Adolph Eichmann. It is an unbelievable account of why he was the number one man wanted by Israel.

I’ve read books on the Civil War and World War II. I think everyone should read books about history.

A plaque on the Library of Congress in Washington read, &uot;The past is prologue&uot;. I believe that history will repeat itself unless men and women read and remember the past. We need to understand how things happen and try to keep them from happening again.

Reading mysteries and anything funny is just relaxation and pleasure.

Religious books help me understand how I need to live and travel books take me to faraway places. I don’t know how you can get anymore for less money.

All three of my sons like to read as much as I do. Terry and I have spent a lot of time talking about books. Thadd, Scott and I have spent and still spend many hours in books stores. We go to both retail books stores and used bookstores. We each go our own way to look for the kind of books we each like. We come back together to share what we have found and are happy just to have spent the time around books.

Many people have never read a book. It is a great way to keep your mind active, escape worries or just relax and laugh. Try it sometime if you haven’t. Think about what your interests are and find a book on the subject.