Quick, name the oldest and largest non-profit literacy organization in America?
Come on, check the acronym in the title of the entry.
YES! Reading is Fundamental.
I lacked the fundamentals of reading growing up in Windsor Terrace. Heck, I actually had a book report due one day in Miss Monzillo’s class and instead of reading the book, I watched the movie the night before. As bright as Miss Monzillo is, she caught me.
RIF had the big truck that drove around different neighborhoods. Too bad the truck kept on rolling through our neighborhood. And if it did stop, I was probably in the schoolyard playing basketball; with zero interest in books.
Fast-Forward a few years later – and boy have things changed.
I now read one book per week! Bio’s, sports, novels, and of course motivational books.
Taylor, my nine-year old is in the library once sometimes twice a week. I allow her to check out 5 books each time we visit. (And of course we make our occasional trip to Barnes and Noble)
I lived on Windsor and 9th for a long time and the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza was within walking distance. I was there a total of 3 times in my life.
There was another Public Library on 6th avenue and 9th street, again within walking distance – you can count how many times I walked through their doors on your hand…one hand.
The New York Public Library on 42nd and 5th in Manhattan? I was in there once. And I think it was to go to the restroom during or after the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Or maybe it was during a day I cut school?
How about the lovely Mrs. Cregg with her book store within a stone’s throw away from my front door all those years? I believe it was called ‘The Bookshelf‘. She would sit behind her counter reading a book in front of the window where she always had a smile and a wave when you passed. I might have been in there 10 to 15 times. In my early twenties I began to go in more and more; always walking directly to the sports section. I’ll never forget picking up Connie Hakwins’ book, ‘Foul‘.
But hey, I would read, don’t get me wrong.
Glenn T and I would await eagerly for the next edition of Basketball Digest to come out at Ray and Otto’s. (When she was hiddy to us, we’d head over to Tokeyo Joe’s on 16th and 9th).
We would read it from cover-to-cover. G’s favorite section was ‘The Game I’ll Never Forget’, where they had a NBA player talk about their most memorable game. My favorite part of the pocket-sized magazine was the last section – the rosters of all NBA teams. I memorized where every player went to college. The crossword puzzle was another favorite part of the magazine. (Do they still publish Basketball Digest?)
The Daily News, Post, Newsday and the Sporting News were three papers I would also get lost in.
Today, as a middle-aged grown up I try and read as much as possible. I can read anywhere from 2 to 5 newspapers per day. I enjoy reading material via the internet and of course books.
Give me a bookstore or library and you probably won’t see me for a few hours. How about this for reading paradise – Michigan State University’s library is open 24 hours a day! Don’t be surprised to see yours truly up on the third floor in the middle of the night when I have Insomnia.
Reading is Fundamental!