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I Read You Loud and Clear

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My wife Mayang got something in her eye, so the next morning I took her to the eye doctor to have it looked at, he flushed the eye and gave her some eye drops and pronounced her fine. While I was waiting, I was reading a book by Vince Flynn (Term Limits) which was recommended to me by a LiP and Facebook friend name Ron LaFleur, and I’ll tell you; Ron was not wrong, it’s a good read.”

Of course I was reading it on my Android Iview Cyber pad 9″ Tablet R2D2, a tiny computer like thingy, using a large font and passing the time. The young Filipino sitting on my right asked me what I was doing, I answered; “Reading a book.” Then he asked if that was all it did, and I explained to him all the things my daughter told me that the do hicky would do.

49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines

Can you play games the young man asked, and I responded in the affirmative, so he asked why I wasn’t playing games instead of reading a book? He explained that books were cheap and my machine was expensive and I was wasting money by using it as a book.

There was not much I could say as I did see his logic, so I explained that books were somewhat hard to find, and if you had to buy them new they were also expensive. I asked if he was a reader, and he said he would rather play games. I explained that my generation played all our games at the kitchen table and they came on a board and the other games we played were outside in a large group of friends.

Being that he was an intelligent sounding young man who spoke flawless English, I asked where he acquired his English. He said; “I grew up in Norfolk Virginia. Now knowing he was a Navy brat I asked if he was required to read books while he was in school, Text books only he explained to me, I said that I was required to read a classic every month and then do a report on the books I’d read.

I told him a story about my Dad bringing home a stack of comic books every Friday night on payday and giving them to his five sons. I laughed and said that my Mother would get mad at him because she thought they were rotting our young minds and not good for us until she saw that a few years later we were all reading novels and no longer needed the pictures and she had to admit my Father had been right.

So I saved my page and went to my bookshelf and let him see the titles of the books I had stored, and explained to him what the stories were about and the adventures the books told. He noted that I had a lot of movie titles among the books. I smiled and told him that if you read the book first, the movie will not interest you as Hollywood changes the story and never in a good way.

My wife came out of the exam room and we left, but not before I bid my farewell to my young friend. I don’t or will never know if he’ll ever become a reader, but I sure hope so. I know I never could have survived those long periods at sea without books to help me pass the time, remember we had no closed circuit TV on the ships when I joined the Navy, but they did show a movie on the mess decks every night at 2000.

Hey Paul, where’s the humor in this week’s story? Read: “Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk”, if that don’t crack you up, nothing I write ever will. If you don’t believe me, ask Bob Martin.

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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Mike Henebry
Mike Henebry
8 years ago

Interesting. I learned to read from comic books also. I was sick and missed a lot of school in the second grade. When I got to the third grade I was started in the lowest level reading group. I could not believe what slow readers we had in our group (or in the whole class for that matter), and I was very frustrated.

I soon was put into the highest level reading group. The comics held my interest better than the simplified readers used in the school, and as you say, I soon learned to read without the pictures.

LeRoy Miller
LeRoy Miller
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

This resonated with me. I started reading early and have loved it ever since. My grandfather bought me a history book for the Christmas when I was 5. The photos and drawings inspired me to learn to read better. It also created a dual addiction of history and reading. My ex used to get so annoyed because I had books at each place I spent time except at the table; bedroom, bathroom, living room, car, etc. My average is 3-5 a week. A personal favorite author because of the subject, quality of his research, and readability as well as being… Read more »

Mike Henebry
Mike Henebry
8 years ago

I also read books electronically. As you say books are often expensive and hard to find. I have a Barnes and Noble Nook, but I tend to user iPhone because 1) is is always with me and 2) I have Apps for Nook, Kindle and iBooks so I can read whatever is available at a good price in any of these formats.

Gary
Gary
8 years ago

Each of the malls here in Tagum City have used book stores. I have picked up a few. When I was younger I would read a book each night before bed. 🙂

Randy
8 years ago

Like you Paul, the books in school that were not forced reads seemed less like a chore and were more enjoyable. Just this week I have the urge to read “Kontiki” again…probably for about the nth time. And I might just re-read Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” also, no pun intended! Ha

Jade
Jade
8 years ago

Hi Paul.
I do not play any video game. Never have never will. Boring.
I read a lot of books though.
On the ships too.
I haven’t come up to speed to use the e books though.
Too bad the Philippines doesn’t have public libraries…
Jade

Lenny
Lenny
8 years ago

I just want my 250 or so comics back from 60+ years ago……My bank account would be over flowing……………

Mark G.
Mark G.
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul you probably know I still read comics from my Facebook page. Nothing better for sheer escapism. I like to read in general and usually pick up spy novels. Jack Higgins is a favorite. This response is actually for Lenny. Many of those old comics are available from the publishers in electronic form. Venture to their websites to find them or just google ‘digital comics’.

Mark G.
Mark G.
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark G.

I meant to add that Lenny can rebuild that old collection digitally and not only take up a lot less space but do it significantly cheaper if he had collectible ones.

Loren Pogue
Loren Pogue
8 years ago

Hey Paul, You probably got a better deal getting the Android Iview Cyber pad 9″ Tablet R2D2. I have the 7” nook and like it but may like the bigger screen better. At any rate these e-readers are the only way to read. I should have got one several years ago. I just bought 2800 books on a disk for around $5.00 and most of the classics are there along with three audio books. I am listening to Huck Fin now, saving the eyes. All of those Vince Flynn books are super good.

Randy
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul have you ever uploaded any audio books yet?

Scott D
Scott D
8 years ago

Hi Paul, I have made the switch to e books now i have a tablet. I bought a Motorola Xoom 10″ tablet. I do enjoy that I can read books on it for one books have gotten so expensive and it uses no paper so no need to cut a tree down. Another thing is a lot of new books are coming out E reader only and you have to special order a printed copy. The one I am reading now “Maybe I should Just Shut up and Go Away” by Neal Boortz is e book only. But there is… Read more »

John Miele
John Miele
8 years ago

Paul:

I’ve been re-reading the classics on my flights. Just finished Crime and Punishment and got through about 1/2 of The Good Earth last night. I’ve seen them in a new light now that I don’t have some English teacher sucking every ounce of joy out of them. They call them the classics for a reason and I’m enjoying them

Bob New York
Bob New York
8 years ago

Waisting time by not playing games on your E Book reader ? From the kid you mention in your article I can see his viewpoint. Even here, I see people all over the place using one kind of handheld electronic marvel or another playing games on them. To me that is a waste of an item that could be used for many other things although I don’t have one myself so I am not familiar with all that they can do LOL.

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