As an author, and as someone who loves to read, I am constantly perplexed why anybody would not want to. And sometimes it’s depressing. All that time spent sitting in a classroom learning how to read, and so few actually do it.
When we were traveling on the road as fulltime RVers publishing the Gypsy Journal RV newspaper, we had vendor booths at RV rallies all over the country for many years. You would be surprised at how many people declined a free sample copy, saying something like, “I haven’t read anything since I got out of school, and I never plan to.” Others would simply say, “I don’t read.”A couple of times when Miss Terry got weary of hearing that response, she would give them her prettiest smile and say, “That’s okay, they have classes for adults to learn how to do that now.”
And even many of those who do read don’t actually take the time to understand what they are looking at. I blame part of this on social media. There is so much to see that they just skim through everything without giving their eyes or their brains time enough to actually absorb the message. The other day I posted the following comment on Facebook: When the time comes, I support mandatory vacations for everyone. If anyone refuses, they should be forced!
The responses left me shaking my head. One person told me I was becoming a Communist and he was never going to read my Facebook posts or the blog anymore. Someone else said that this is America and nobody has to get a vacation if he doesn’t want one. It was his body and nobody was putting that poison in it. A longtime “friend” told me that I was a disgrace to the American flag. I told him to go back and actually read what I had posted, and he replied a moment later saying that he had read it, and I could stick my vacation where the sun don’t shine, because nobody could make him take a shot if he didn’t want it, and it was treasonous to try to push that on anybody. He suggested I might be much happier in Russia. Okay, fine, have a nice day, comrade.
But, fortunately, enough people do read that I can make a living writing my books, and irritate people with words in my spare time. I’ve been working hard on my new Tinder Street book, which is requiring a lot of research to make sure I get the facts right. The other day I read through and corrected several chapters, then printed them out for Terry to proof. Yesterday I started making final corrections to what she gave back to me, and I couldn’t figure out why there were so many errors on my screen that were not in the printed-out proof chapters she had worked on. Then I realized that I had goofed and not saved those chapters once I read through them and made my on-screen corrections before printing them out. That took a while to figure out and get everything back on track!
But I did, along with doing more research, and things are moving right along. By the way, if you need to know anything about the day Harry Houdini died (October 31, 1926), or the death of Rudolph Valentino a few months earlier, or the steps one had to go through to get a commercial pilot’s license in those days, or placenta, give me a shout. I’ve got notes I’ll share with you.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. And I thought my high school girlfriend was weird when she told me she put mayonnaise in her hair!
Thought For The Day – At some point in your childhood, you and your friends went outside to play together for the last time, and nobody knew it.
I, for one, am glad you do your research. I get so irritated when a novel includes something that would not have happened that way or in that time. I recently finished a book where they author included an apology at the end of the book for having presented polio incorrectly. How hard would it have been to check that out in today’s data filled world?
Many people are not “visual” learners. They learn through hearing, rather than seeing. Letters in a line in small print in a book look garbled and it takes too long to figure it out, and that is why they choose to get their information through their ears, where it flows in smoothly and easily. So just because you are a visual person and adept at reading doesn’t mean that every one is. Nor does it mean that just if they “try hard enough” they will be able to read the same way that you do. That’s why some people love audio books, and other can’t handle audio books past the 1st chapter (ME!) We are all different, but as long as we each cope in our own method, and try to stay informed in the best way we can, there’s nothing wrong with either method.
A problem that I keep running into is people that try to read emails longer than one or two paragraphs on their cellphones. Case in point: I sent out specs and photos with measurements of a RV couch that I wanted reupholstered.
From the responses it was obvious none of the three responses had read enough to understand what I wanted. At first it confused me, but after talking to them I realized they’d just skimmed my email on a cell phone.
Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe. They get six weeks of vaccination every year!
By the way, are you saying that in 1926, the steps for getting a pilot’s license and a placenta were the same? I always assumed the requirements were different.
Firstly … your “Thought for the Day” is on of the most poingnant things I have ever read. Caught me by surprise.
Secondly … Tell me about placenta. I’m intrigued.
Did you mean to say ‘vaccination’? It came out several times as ‘vacation’.
I remember reading your comment about mandatory vacations and agreed completely.
Ok, I’ve gotta know! In the story about the vaccination, you show two of those people confusing it with vacation. Was that them or does Miss Terry need to proofread your blog now? LOL BTW I’m with Lee in his comment about living in Europe!
I’m sure the negative vaccine responses were from people who don’t read books, they only skim headlines. In fact, I’m surprised that they read your blogs.
Don, some comments were by messenger and one on Facebook was deleted because of the foul language used.
It seems to me the problem is a deficient sense of humor.
Lots of people brag about speed reading one novel a day but most times they are misinterpreting what they saw. They probably got an E in spelling.
Keep on telling it like it is Nick.
Be Safe and Enjoy!
It’s about time.
I, for one, need more vacations and am willing to take any unused vacations that your readers feel they don’t want or can’t use.
Be careful. I don’t think enough is known yet concerning whether or not you can mix Moderna and Pfizer vacations. You may experience tiredness, forgetfulness, embarrassment, and loss of wealth. Note the news reports of those who are receiving their vacations on Florida beaches this season.
I am intrigued to see how placenta and its acquisition play out in your next book. I had to go back and read that sentence again, because I thought maybe I had mistaken a “vacation” for a “vaccination”. It’s not every day that pilot’s licence and placenta are in the same sentence. LOL