LAW OFFICE MONAST
www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913
SAWDUST WITHOUT BUTTER THE WORST KIND OF BOOKS TO READ
Y ears ago, when I was a boy, my family took a trip to the Grand Canyon. During the road trip, my mom and I read “Harvest Home,”a horror novel by Thomas Tryon. We had only a single copy of the book, so we took turns reading a chapter and passing the book back over the seat. When we both finished the same chapter, we’d talk about it a little before reading more. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always been an avid reader thanks to my parents. My mother was always reading something. She particularly loved Mary Higgins Clark, who just passed away Jan. 31, and Agatha Christie mysteries. My dad was also a big reader. My dad finished high school, but my mom did not. Both of my parents were self-taught because they read so much. When I was a kid, I followed their lead. I’d spend the summers cutting grass and use the money to buy comic books. At one point, I had hundreds of copies of“Richie Rich,”“Casper the Friendly Ghost,”“Archie,”and the like. Besides comics, there was nothing I loved more than diving into a good fantasy novel. I loved“The Lord of the Rings,”“The Sword of Shannara,” and“Dune.”(Yeah, I know—nerd alert!) When I got to law school, I quit reading for a while. You read so much technical stuff in law school, and most of it is dry and boring. “Like eating sawdust without butter,”as one professor put it. Eventually, I started reading for fun again as a good mental break. These days, I’m an avid reader once more, which isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s ever been to my house. We have shelves full of books at home and at work. My desk is covered in stacks of books. I even have boxes of books in storage. I’m thankful for e-books because my wife has threatened to take drastic action if I try to bring home any more books. Amy claims we’re running out of room for us humans. I maintain that humans can’t thrive unless we’re
surrounded by good books. In response, she has become somewhat of an Olympic-caliber eye-roller.
March 2 is Read Across America Day, so it’s a great time to assess our reading habits. People ask me how I find time to read so much while still running my law office. Like anything worthwhile, we have to make time. E-books help a lot. If I’m having lunch at my desk, I can grab my iPad and read whatever book I’mworking on at the moment. It’s a lot easier to carry around an iPad than a bunch of paperbacks. Audiobooks are also great. As I drive around the great state of Ohio for hearings, I’ve found listening to an audiobook is a lot more pleasant than hearing radio DJs chatter on. Lately, I’ve listened to several excellent crime mysteries.“Call Me God” on Audible about the D.C. sniper attacks is superb! Amy and I also make time to read at home. If a new season of “The Walking Dead”hasn’t started and there’s not a college football game on, we watch little TV. Our evenings are usually filled with reading. Business and self-help books help me stay at the top of my game. Theology helps me stay spiritually centered because, let’s face it, life is hard. Biographies like “Can’t Hurt Me”by Navy SEAL David Goggins (whom I’ve met!) are really inspirational. I write a lot, so any book that can help me improve my writing also goes on the list. This doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for fantasy and pulp fiction. I love zombie books, like Keith Blackmore’s “Mountain Man”series (rough language alert), and political thrillers (anything by Joel C. Rosenberg). There are so many reasons we should read, but for me, the biggest reason is because it’s a new window on the world. A good story whisks us away and makes us think about things in a different light. And our perspective on life impacts the story we are writing for ourselves each day.
“I’m thankful for e-books because my wife has threatened to take drastic action if I try to bring home any more books.”
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