All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser. 

Linda Nidiffer

My reading life started very early.  My mother and sister taught me to read before I went to Kindergarten.  My sister would later grow up to become an elementary school teacher and principal.  Her career started early and at home.  She and I played “school” often and I am now the proud owner of the little desk that was the center of our “school” life.  It brings back so many memories of my early childhood.

My first self-imposed reading goal was to read every Golden Book.  I can’t remember any titles or subjects of these books but I can remember the joy that they brought to me.  I will never forget the Christmas that I was given a stack of them.  I spent hours reading and arranging and rearranging the books on my shelf in my bedroom and/or the “school room” upstairs at the farmhouse.  With a little maturity I out grew my Goldens—let’s face it, they don’t have much plot or character development!  

My next obsession was everything Walter Farley wrote.  I read all of his horse books and I couldn’t wait until the Book Mobile brought me new ones to devour.  I can’t remember the librarians’ names but they guided my reading for years. I know that the Michigan City, Indiana librarians were responsible for me reading Russian authors my senior year of high school.  Did I understand all there was to understand? No, but it laid the foundation for further study.  God Bless all librarians!

Now I am old and can direct my own reading.  I have come to realize that my childish dream of reading EVERY book ever written was just that—childish. The obsession to read every book by an author is still flourishing.  I am stalled in the prodigious work of Neville Shute.  He was a prolific writer.

I know that I have mentioned him before but I didn’t realize what I had let myself in for. (Yes, that is a poorly written sentence but you get what I am trying to tell you. So I will let it slide because I have a lot of reading to do.)  I bought the complete works of Neville Shute.  I have no idea if this is really all that he wrote, but it will suffice for me.

I love reading on my Kindle except you don’t know the title of books. Once you breeze by the title page you never see the title again unless you search for it.  When I bought the collection of novels by Neville I didn’t realize how many there were.  At first I thought that there were about 1,000 pages to read.  For me that is about 2 weeks of reading.  I have been reading for a month and still have 58 hours of reading material!  My eyes are going to fall out but he is worth every hour!  I just finished Round the Bend and it was so rich and delicious.  It was a philosophical book about religion with a plot and characters that you cared about.  If you want a thought provoking read this will do it.  If you don’t want a serious provoker try A Town Like Alice.  

I need to rest my eyes for a bit and then I will begin The Far Country.  I have a busy week of reading.  Just about 5,000 more pages to go!