OCTOBER 2019 WOODLYN WORD
THE POWER OF A GOOD BOOK
Did you know 24% of American adults haven’t read a book in the last year? This is a real shame. I don’t mean that in an elitist way. It’s a shame because reading is really fun. When I have free time, there’s nothing I enjoy more than kicking back with a good book. I’m a big fan of thrillers, whodunits, and murder mystery novels. There’s something fun about reading a great mystery and trying to figure out the solution alongside the characters. One of my favorite books is “Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson. This is the second book in his Alex Cross mystery series and it’s great. Cross’ niece is kidnapped by a serial killer, and he travels to North Carolina and works with investigators to help rescue her and other women who have been taken. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s a wild ride. I’ve read a number of mystery series, including Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme books, but James Patterson is my favorite. He knows how to craft a
thrilling story. Plus, the chapters are only a couple pages long, so it feels like you’re flying through it. There are a few of his books I can read in a couple of hours. I’ve tried reading biographies, including “Helter Skelter” and some book about Ted Bundy, but I never got into them. Save for “Papillon," an autobiography about a man who escaped a French prison island, I find nonfiction books to be dry and boring. There’s nothing special about them. When I pick up a book, I want to enjoy reading. When my family goes on vacation, I’ll pick out four or five books to read during the trip, the kind of great reads that keep me on the edge of my seat. Back before e-books, I was stuffing five paperbacks into my suitcase. The thing is, once I finish a book and know how the mystery ends, I don’t often reread them. There was a period of time when I would leave the paperbacks behind at the end of our trip because I didn’t want to carry all those books back home. Needless to say, I was really excited
when I learned my iPad could hold 10,000 books.
I wasn’t always such an avid reader. I was 19 before I picked up a book to read for fun. My early education wasn’t great, and I never wanted to read anything as a kid. When I started working at Amtrak, I was working night shifts in the towers. There would be three-hour chunks of time when we wouldn’t have any trains coming, but you needed to stay awake and alert. I started reading to pass the time. The first book I ever read was “Carrie” by Stephen King. It was okay. It’s not my favorite book, and certainly not King’s best book, but it got me into reading. If it’s been a while since you read a book for fun, I highly recommend giving yourself some time to read. You can swing by the library or get an e-book off Amazon. I promise, it’s well worth your time. -Jim Brennan
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