Beanery Online Literary Magazine

May 8, 2008



We’re told one in four adults didn’t read a single book last year as if this is a shockingly low number, but I’m impressed that three in four did read a book. And why fuss over books? A lot of the books read are trash. (The linked article says the top picks were religion and popular fiction.) And plenty of serious reading doesn’t come in book form. —Ann Althouse ( from Tribune Review, Best of the Blogs, 26 Aug. 2007

For a different perspective, read the following post written by Beanery Writers Group member, Kathleen…

Mmmm!  Mmmm!  Sweet!  Satisfying!  Stimulating!  Nothing is enticing as a can’t-put-down book that keeps me riveted to the seat.  It promises to deliver life’s essentials: free therapy, relaxation and a generous dose of escapism.

Somehow the cover of an unread book, artwork tastefully enhancing the title and author, proves irresistible!  Just the thought of sitting down with this piece de resistance is food for the spirit and a feast for the eyes.  I can’t wait to ravage the contents!

It’s quiet this morning, the sun playing hide and seek, birds discovering spring while I contentedly turn pages.  I’ve selected a novel from the overfull basket of paperback books purchased from the library, bookstore or occasional yard sale.  My apartment abounds with bookcases jammed full of books read and unread, many left to me when my sister died. Recent reads include Danielle Steel’s Sisters, Steve Berry’s The Romanov Prophecy, Fern Michael’s Comfort and Joy, Nora Roberts, The Gift and currently, The Sight of the Stars by Belva Plain, a period piece.  Whether recently published works or classics, it doesn’t matter to me; I love reading!

Reading is a pleasure I discovered during elementary years.  Easily fascinated with the printed page, I soon discovered where it could take me.  An avid reader, my mother introduced me to the local library.  It was a wonderful old building with turrets like a castle, filled with two floors of books and magazines.  I’d search the shelves, head tilted sideways, fingering the book spine until I made my selections.  Still too young I took books out under Mom’s name, but later I acquired my own card and I was in heaven!  I’d withdraw several selections after carefully browsing the shelves for hours.  Mom was friendly with the librarian and always spent time talking to her.  This gave me more time to mentally note what I wanted for the next trip.

During senior high school I passed many hours in the downtown library while I waited for Dad to pick me up after he finished work.  He drove me to school five days a week, because our school district was in transition.  Students were permitted to choose which high school they wanted to attend and busses weren’t routed from my home to the school.  So I had two and a half hours to fill until Dad arrived.

Summers were fantastic because I spent long, leisurely hours indulging my habit.  The bedroom, the backyard, the swimming pool were ideal places for this favorite pastime.  Organized and meticulous, I kept wire bound notebooks listing every book; the author, title, date each book was started and finished, competing with myself to see how many I could read.  I was Pacman, devouring books at a fantastic rate.  One year I remember charting 300 or more.

I’ve always longed to travel around the world to exotic and wonderful destinations, but lack of finances to pursue such adventures has been a drawback.  The next best solution has been to read historical, biographical or scientific accounts in a variety of books.  Reading transports one effortlessly, quickly to the past, present or future.  Various countries, cultures, lifestyles, can be explored through the eyes of men, women and children of all ages.  Through the author I experience vicarious satisfaction; the aroma of chocolate without guilt.  I may agree, disagree, love or hate the characters, none of whom will judge me, but who will allow me to judge them.  Characters of great and admirable courage are pitted against those of weaker and more questionable means. Most are average folks, struggling against the forces of good and evil.

How they ultimately handle the circumstances that pepper their lives defines their character as it does mine. In the fictional world, reality is much like the emperor’s clothes; more what you sense, absorb and ultimately process psychologically than what you see.

Sequestered with my book of choice, I’m sucked into a vortex of another dimension, far from the present world. Thus engrossed, I find it extremely hard to return to reality and sometimes retreat for days, emerging from my literary cocoon only long enough to eat and sleep. Relating completely with the characters, the era and situations, I enjoy an all-enveloping time travel. The very thought of facing the “everyday world” brings low-key trauma! Silly perhaps—but what about the people who spend endless hours in front of the TV or playing electronic games? They’ve escaped to another reality, and so have I!

To fully enjoy a writer’s fictional world is to brush shoulders with a Starman who rises off the page and lands naked in my world.  Seasoned and amateur masters of the pen have given depth and dimension and breathed life into unforgettable personalities.  Ultimately they live in my mind and heart, long after I’ve closed the cover on their paperbound lives.

No one can dictate whom or what I may read. It is my exclusive choice. The power of the written word has often wrought controversy and censorship. Various sects and individuals have vehemently objected to untested theories or objectionable creations of creative minds. Books have been scourged from shelves, burned and kept under lock and key. In the end, when the maelstrom has passed, sanctions have lifted and society looks over its collective shoulder and concludes, in the light of new understanding, “That wasn’t so bad.”

Reading is inexpensive, entertaining, and educational. No cyber gadgets needed! All that’s necessary are your eyes (or glasses), adequate light, a favorite chair, an adventurous spirit and lots of time.

The world of books will forever fascinate me. Reading is inexpensive, entertaining, and educational.  No cyber gadgets needed! All that’s necessary are your eyes (or glasses), adequate light, a favorite chair, an adventurous spirit and lots of time. So settle back and “follow the yellow brick road.”   It’s Bookalicious!

For further reading enjoyment, click on the following:






BRAMBLES (Brief Rambles) 2:2008 May 5—Temporary Art, Bull-Headedness?-Arachnophobia




To receive a sample copy of the Beanery Writers Newsletter E-mail with the words “NEWSLETTER SAMPLE” in the subject line.

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