1. Opinion

Joy of reading never gets old

Published Jun. 13, 2012

Summer is the time to do some reading. Kids are out of school, but need to keep an interest in books. Adults go on vacation and lot of them like to simply go to the beach and enjoy a good book.

When I lived in Brooklyn years ago, my next-door neighbor would visit, look around and say, "All these book. Dust-catchers!'' And, I would say, "I like books.''

Today, no matter what season of the year, I am still surrounded by books. I still read thrillers and stories of suspense. I appreciate good novel writing. It's not easy to do. I tried it once and didn't quite make it.

And, despite today's mechanized way of reading via a Kindle or other digital gadget, I still believe there is nothing like sitting quietly in a wing chair with an actual book. You enjoy the jacket, the author's photograph and biography and those first words that promise escape.

I recently read a wonderful novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones, that was published in 2002. I read the opening lines about a 14-year-old girl telling of her murder and I was hooked to the ending that was just as surprising as the beginning.

There was a time when I thought women writers could only write about romance. I've changed my opinion. At one time, I acquired a leather-bound set of novels by Faith Baldwin. My mother read Faith Baldwin. Years later, when I opened one, I found her writing to be hilarious. She knew rich people and their foibles. She made every word interesting. For some reason, all her heroes had red hair and ugly/handsome faces. And, there was always one woman who could only be described as rhyming with rich. But, what fun to read Faith Baldwin, the star of the 1940s.

Today, I read books I buy at the libraries for $2. Thank you Friends of the Library. I read first novels by unknown writers that you can get from a $1 chain store for a buck. The fact that it's a writer and the book is part of the leftovers from the publishers doesn't bother me. I've found many wonderful creations this way.

I also read books in my own home library that I haven't read for years and have completely forgotten. The joy of reading a book already read.

I believe I've read all of John Grisham's novels. I'm always up for a new novel by Harlan Coben, Lee Child or George Pelecanos. They produce thrillers with a jolt of comedy. They're fast-paced, filled with short chapters that make you want to turn the next page. The novels of Robert B. Parker always featured chapters of just two pages and a job for every thrill. I've read them all.

Short chapters for passing a long summer day.

Dust-catchers? Sure. But, I just knock off the dust and start reading again.

Avid reader Jim Aylward, of New Port Richey was formerly a nationally syndicated columnist and radio host in New York City.


  1. The American flag flies in front of the U.S. Capitol dome at sunset on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
  2. Here’s what readers had to say in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
  3. Editorial cartoon for Saturday/Sunday Andy Marlette/Creators Syndicate
  4. Stock photo. MORGAN DAVID DE LOSSY  |  Getty Images/iStockphoto
    I’m a new mom -- again -- and please remember that many mothers would welcome government policies that make it easier for them to stay home with their kids than returning to work. | Column
  5. Josh Hensley, 43, was found in the waters of Kings Bay in Crystal River. He was known for dressing as Jack Sparrow. Facebook
    Here’s what readers had to say in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
  6. David Colburn was the former provost and senior vice president of the University of Florida. JAMIE FRANCIS  |  Tampa Bay Times
    He believed that diversity is our strength, and that the way to overcome division is to shine light in dark corners, writes Cynthia Barnett.
  7. Adam Goodman, national Republican media consultant
    With Washington once again failing to embrace reforms following mass shootings, it’s up to Americans to create a movement to demand change. | Adam Goodman
  8. Couple, Lewis Bryan, 36, (back left) and Amber Eckloff, 33, pose for a portrait with their children, (From left) D'Angelo Eckloff, 14, Rasmus Bryan, 4, Ramiro Bryan, 10, Lothario Bryan, 6, and Alonzo Bailey, 17. The family has been living at the Bayway Inn on 34th St S. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in St. Petersburg.  MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    When about 40 percent of city households are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, something has to change.
  9. A judge ruled in June that it is up to Hillsborough County Commissioners to decide how much money the bus agency and other transportation projects get from the one-cent transportation sales tax voters approved in November. The board did just that this week.[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    Hillsborough commissioners follow through on transportation funding.
  10. From left to right: Florida Department of Transportation workers inspect damage to the Interstate 175 overpass at Sixth Street S caused by a roll-off dumpster truck that left its hydraulic arm upright, according to St. Petersburg police [JAMES BORCHUCK | Tampa Bay Times]; Former Pinellas school guardian Erick Russell, 37, is accused of pawning the Glock 17 9mm semiautomatic pistol, body armor and two magazines he was issued to protect students [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]; Johnna Lynn Flores [AUSTIN ANTHONY | Tampa Bay Times] Tampa Bay Times
    Here are three examples of routine information Tampa Bay governments kept from the public this week.