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Saturday, September 10, 2022

Thought for the Day: Start a Book!

What should I read next?
As an English major who has loved reading since I was a little girl, I'm shocked at the statistics showing that many people rarely pick up a book. According to surveys one out of three teenagers hasn't read a book for pleasure IN A YEAR! Twenty-five percent of adults haven't read even one book in the past year either. People between the age of 15 and 44 read fewer than ten minutes a day. They are much more likely to be watching TV or interacting on social media. What a waste!

All of this is a matter of concern. Reading opens the world to us and offers tremendous growth in intelligence and thinking skills. Children who are read to six minutes a day significantly improve their reading skills.

And it is so easy these days. A person with a smart phone has a massive library at his fingertips. Personally, I don't like reading on my phone, but I have a paperwhite kindle that I read every night in bed. The advantage is that I don't need lights on and my husband can sleep without my bothering him. Right now I'm reading Chesterton's Tales of the Long Bow. The stories are short and great fun. They take common expressions like, "If that's true I'll eat my hat!" or "That will happen when pigs fly!" and turn them into stories where the protagonists fulfill the "impossible" expressions in humorous ways. What a great idea!  

All Chesterton's fictional books are a romp, and these stories are like mini-versions of the novels and very entertaining. And if you don't express enthusiasm for Chesterton...well...I'll believe the cat's got your tongue!

I love doing a lot of things, but reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I'm eclectic in my tastes. I like nonfiction, especially biographies of saints and famous people. I just finished the biography of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi who lived during the Napoleonic period and touched the lives of many famous people. I enjoy memoirs and recently read a priest's memoir of his time with Cardinal Gagnon called Murder in the 33rd Degree about freemasons in the Catholic Church. i've been doing some research on evolution so I'm reading Tom McFaddon's book, Creation Evolution, and Catholicism: A Discussion for Those Who Believe. Those who read it will be hard put to defend the hypothesis that nothing created everything! And I love children's books. I recently re-read Heidi. What a lovely, poignant story about a little girl's relationship with her gruff grandpa and the influence she has on his conversion. Black Beauty is another favorite; and if you've never seen the 1994 movie version directed by Caroline Thompson, do yourself a favor and get it. But read the book first. 

I have so many books in the queue that my biggest challenge is deciding what to read next. So many good books, so little time left to read them. But I'm always up for a challenge and I'm asking St. George, the patron of books, for his intercession. 

Now why is St. George the patron of books? I have no idea! Maybe he slew the dragon because it ate his library.

Do yourself a favor tonight. Start or continue a book and if you have a favorite, please share with our readers!


  1. The children's books Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher; the Moffats by Eleanor Estes and The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz. I read them as a girl and had my own children read them when I was a homeschooling mom, years ago now.

  2. I'm currently reading God and the World. The Catholic Book Club on Goodreads is a good place to meet other Catholics to read alongside you.

  3. I'm reading some old, clean romantic suspense by Victoria Holt. Bride of Pendorric, Shivering Sands, etc