Falling Off a Cliff

February 23 2015

When I was in school, I was very busy with sports and entrepreneurial ventures. Although I did very well academically, I never had time for, or interest in, reading for pleasure. I read the absolute minimum necessary for school work and always for the purpose of getting a good grade. Certainly not for pleasure. Because I never developed the habit of reading in my youth, I never read as an adult either (it probably didn't help that my wife is not a reader).

I am 48 years old now and a few years ago, I started to realize that I was really missing out on a lot by not reading for enjoyment (as opposed to reading for work). I started to ask friends for book recommendations and began reading for just 15 minutes or so each night before going to sleep. And more on the weekends. I am a slow, plodding reader and I fall asleep often if I read too much, but I am really enjoying it. Without sounding trite, It's like a whole new world for me! I have read fiction, biographies, sci-fi, short stories and more. I have been experimenting with a bit of everything.

More recently, I came to the conclusion that I had really missed out by not reading the classics while I was in high school and college. Well, I did read some of them because I had to, but I never read them for enjoyment and I certainly never read them from cover to cover. If Cliffs Notes were available, I read those instead. I'm talking about books like Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick, the great Shakespeare plays, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Pride & Prejudice, Call of the Wild, Red Badge of Courage, etc.

I mentioned this to my wife and for my last birthday, she surprised me with something called the Library of Classics. It's an MP3 player with all of the classic books loaded on it as audiobooks. I have never listened to audiobooks before and I didn't know if I would like them. But I have to tell you, it's even better than reading! The narrators make it so interesting (it's like they're acting it out) and the time just flies. I listen when I go to the gym (which actually makes that more pleasant) and when I drive to the office. And just recently started listening at home on the couch during the weekends. This MP3 player has an amazing selection of audio books and I am loving it! Bonus: I'm also spending less time watching inane TV shows.

So why am I sharing this with you? Why am I using my opportunity as the Listserv winner to tell you about this? Because I want to urge you to read, especially the classics. And if you haven't already, try audiobooks. It has really exposed me to so much that I had been missing out on. I have learned a lot, been entertained and I honestly think it has made me a more well-rounded person. It's also been a good influence on my kids (I'm still working on my wife, though).

Start with just a few minutes a day. Or try the Library of Classics or other audiobooks if you think you would enjoy that more. But give it a try. You won't be sorry.

Boca Raton, FL

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