Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dick and Jane

I learned to read thanks to the Dick and Jane primers. See Jane. See Jane run. See Dick. Dick is cool. No, it didn't say cool, but I certainly thought the two peers were very cool, and when they added Spot the dog to the mix, well...

I actually remember sitting on the green vinyl couch, poking my finger at the scribbles on the page, and seeing them morph into words--words that told a story. See Jane run. Yes, I did! I did see her run, and I saw Dick throw the ball, and Spot catch the ball! It was a new world.

From those humble beginnings the world of books opened up to me, and not only books, but magazine articles, street signs, advertisements, and greeting cards. I loved going to our little library in South Lake Tahoe and foraging through the hundred or so books offered.

When I went off to college I remember stepping into the huge library and being overwhelmed at the massive scope of the offerings: non-fiction books, text books, novels, atlases, books in foreign languages, reference books...the stacks went on and on. I felt a little light-headed. How in the world could someone read all these books? Of course, it's impossible. There are not enough hours in one's lifetime. I realized then that you have to be selective. Just like picking how we spend our time in work, hobbies, and recreation, we need to be selective in our reading material. My motto is "read books that count." I'm not suggesting that you read only history books, biographies, auto-biographies, or religious texts, but don't glut your brain with frothy romances, thrilling mysteries, or escape fantasy either. I am not being a book prude. Trust me, when I'm at the beach I'm taking a good mystery book and leaving the biography at home. All I'm suggesting is that you "mix it up" a little. Expand your world.

See Jane. See Jane read. Read Jane, read!

No comments: