I remember it well: I was sitting in a 6th-grade science class when the teacher asked me to read a selection from the book, so I began ...
All was going well until I reached a word I did not know. It sputtered from my lips with all the confidence of a terrified mouse cornered by a coiled-up cat preparing to pounce.
The classroom erupted with laughter. "Hahahahahahahaha!"
I knew I had made a mistake. "Oh... nu-mo-ne-a," I corrected myself slowly as the classroom gasped for a second breath to continue its collective gut-busting. "Hahahahahahahaha!"
There we were, the 6'5" nephew and myself, leaving Waterstone's, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, UK, last year without buying a book. What a triumph of willpower over two lots of biblio-addiction! And then—a title caught my eye: "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops."
Hang on a minute", I said to the nephew, "just a quick look. I won't buy it, honest."
However, after a fast flick revealed the following gems offered by its author, Jen Campbell: 'Can books conduct electricity?' 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' 'Excuse me… is this book edible?' I gave in. ...
We all know reading is important, right? After all, you are reading this—unless you have delegated it to an app on your phone ... ahem, you know who you are! So with the voice of an old journalism school professor skipping through my skull–"If your mama tells you she loves you, check it out."—I set out to quantify just how important reading really is.Read More