This will be in “Notes About Growing Up And Kin” one day. It is about reading above your age level….
I have always been a book worm and have a lot of books. And what do I read? History and current events not “fluff” like tomes filled with movie star gossip and who’s sleeping with whom. This was evident even when I was a little kid. And here is a Note about that.
Before the Internet, book store chains, and Amazon.com there were public libraries (and thankfully there still are). Those repositories of knowledge were where you went to get a book on Roman history or other things considered boring and dense by many folks who stuck to The National Inquirer or the like. And I was one of those who wanted something deep and serious to read even when I was a little kid. Given that desire my mom would take to the Emily Fowler Public Library in Denton just around the corner from where we used to live on east Congress Street. We would drive up and go in and thus I would enter my bookish Nirvana and peruse the seemingly endless rows of interesting books.
One summer day when we went in I turned left past the librarian checkout counter and the librarian spoke out to my mom “The children’s books are to the right”. My mom used to what I read simply replied back “He doesn’t read kid’s books”. The librarian was silent, obviously non-plussed by this surprise and I walked on down to the history books.
Why did I read “On Thermonuclear War” by Herman Kahn and similar things even before I was in junior high? I simply read FAR above my grade level from a very early age. Yes, I read children’s books too when I was really young but quickly progressed to other things like reading the encyclopedia and the dictionary even. Yes, no Hardy Boys or such things for me and instead “The History Of The Decline And Fall Of the Roman Empire” by Gibbon was a typical choice for my “light reading”.
Yes, yes, yes I still read things like that now. Have you ever read “The Decline Of The West” by Oswald Spengler? I’ve read that ‘little’ treatise too. My sister told me I should write history books. I said that was too much work and I can simply pick up a nice fact-filled volume someone else wrote! It’s easier you see…a thousand pages here and a thousand pages here is nothing…but fun to me.