When we gave my father a Kindle reader a few years ago, he told me he read 75 books that first year. That inspired me to keep a tally of how many books I read in a year.
First, I set a goal of a book a week. In actuality, I’ve read 60 or more books a year for the past few years. I read paper books, ebooks, and audiobooks. I read a number of books at one time. I read in snatches, a little here and little there. I’ve turned my commute into a classroom. I have to admit it’s hard to highlight and annotate audiobooks while driving (don’t worry, I don’t even try).
Secondly, I started listing the books I read in my journal and on Twitter. It I recommend the book, I just write, “recommended.” I gave up the star system quite a while back. I put it on Twitter, because people ask me if I’ve read any good books lately, and I think their eyes would glaze over if I started to list them. Now I can refer them to Twitter.
Thirdly, I put an asterisk next to the books on my journal list. This year I thought I would share them with you, but I had 23 favorites. I wanted to make a list of my top 10. That didn’t happen. So, read on to see see the list.
Where the Grass is Greener
Why struggle with being put out to pasture, as they say? They also say the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. So, take it as an adventure, these pasture years, and chomp, chomp, chomp.
Keep learning. Keep developing. Keep reading. Keep that mind active.
I’ve been wanting to watch this documentary titled, Never Too Old, for quite a few weeks. A friend of mine from Canada downloaded it so I could watch it. It was on CBC Docs POV and all about a woman who earned her doctorate at the age of 81. Her name is Olive Bryanton. She is an advocate for women 85 and older who live in rural settings on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
She challenges the myths surrounding aging. She lobbied for change in legislation, which benefitted the women in her study who want to live at home, as well as all women struggling against ageism and the right to make decisions about their own future. She challenges the notion that older people are a burden to society with her research stating that only about 10% of this demographic are living in facilities other than their own home.
Here is her website.
Here is the article about her graduation.
Little by Little
They call it incrementalism. Okay, let’s stick with little by little.
We like immediate results, or at least we like to move quickly in the right direction. Slowly, little by little, and waiting don’t sound like progress words. When things happen slowly, we wonder what is going on. Could we be doing something wrong? Are we missing something?
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, just over 34 percent of the US population is aged 50 and over, and their numbers are rising rapidly with the aging of the baby-boom generation.
Our grandson loves to play hide and seek. He is two and a half. We love to play hide and seek with him.
There are two reasons why. First, we love watching him play. Secondly, we love watching how he plays.
He will run not far away and put his back against the wall. Then he covers his eyes. We love it. He thinks because he cannot see us, we cannot see him.
We do see him, he just doesn’t know it yet. Sooner or later he’ll grow beyond this game and know the truth. We will love him all the same, whether or not he understands it all now.
She wrote with her right foot.
Her name was Virginia. She and her elderly mother lived for a while with my grandparents in Taunton, Massachusetts, where my grandmother provided in-house care. Virginia was disabled by polio as a child, which left her without the use of her arms and hands. Her mother used to care for her until the workload became too great. So, they moved from Shreveport, Louisiana to Massachusetts, and that’s where I got to meet them.
Virginia wrote with a fountain pen. I was a nosy kid and asked a lot of questions. She even let me watch as she used her left foot to place the fountain pen between the first and second toe of her right foot. I would watch with amazement as she wrote letters to family and friends back in Shreveport.
What is the best tool for language learning? That is one of the first questions people ask. We all have different learning styles. There were times when I tried to learn in a way other people were learning and only ended up in frustration.
If you are looking for the best method before you begin, you probably won’t start, or you may start with the wrong tool for you and end up quitting altogether. You don’t want that.
Should you listen first, read first, write first, study grammar, or move out of the country to a place where they speak your target language all the time? I’ve used all these methods, and each has their advantage. I like to keep things interesting and fun, so here are a few for you to check out.
One of the quickest ways for reading foreign text without having to leave the website you’re reading is Readlang. Readlang is a webapp and Chrome extension that helps you learn by translating web sites and creating flashcards and word lists for you.
Long after the power of authority wanes, the power of influence remains. How long will you have a vital influence on the lives of others? Will you remain a force for good, a source of encouragement, a vital voice in the sea of other clamoring voices?