Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reading Strengthens Families, Futures

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reading Strengthens Families, Futures

Article excerpt

You have to figure that readers of newspapers also are lovers of reading. For many, this love began early in childhood.

So we asked members of the Times-Union's book club, a special subgroup of the Email Interactive Group, to share their special family experiences with reading.

The submissions were so good that we're going to run them in two installments.

DAD AND THE NEWSPAPER

I remember as a young child my father reading every word of the morning and the afternoon papers. I have never known anyone to read a paper so thoroughly. Maybe my wife comes in a distant second. He used a magnifying glass since he never got his eyes checked to my knowledge. His love of politics consumed him, so anything in the paper regarding the political scene interested him.

He even cut out poems or recipes even though he never cooked a meal in his life. This image of my father hunched over newspapers, holding steady his magnifying glass, will remain with me always.

My father never finished grammar school. I wonder often how far he would have gone if he had gotten further schooling. His example certainly prodded me along.

Bill Dunford, Jacksonville

IN A PARENTAL LAP

I learned to love reading by sitting on my father's lap as he read from a tattered copy of a book of poetry for young children. Tennyson's "The Barefoot Boy" was a particular favorite. Later, I proudly read all of "Winnie the Pooh" and the Nancy Drew mysteries. I spent my summers walking the two miles to our library with armloads of books.

Now, my grandchildren and I snuggle before bed with stories. They have favorites that we never tire of and new adventures soon to be favorites. We always ask what they have read lately and talk about the books at dinner. I am proud that my children have fostered the love of reading in their children and hope the next generation passes it along as well.

Jean Tepas,Jacksonville

A ROLE MODEL IN ACTION

My parents and grandmother gave me the gift of reading, initially not through making me read but by watching them read: books, newspapers, magazines. I remember asking my dad why he always read news magazines and newspapers.

The memory of his answer has always stuck with me: "So I know what is going on in the world around us; to know how other people are doing; to have an understanding of different perspectives. Then I can speak to my friends about things I wouldn't otherwise know!"

Books have opened new and wondrous worlds and introduced me to the most fascinating characters and to some very evil ones.

If you read, you are never alone.

Robert Frary, Jacksonville Beach

BOTH PARENTS PARTICIPATED

Back in the day, my wife was a stay-at-home mom and she read to my kids a lot when they were young, so when I came home from work they always wanted me to read the same books to them. …

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