Book Beat by Jeff Hall: Why Book Beat? New worlds and knowledge await us

Jeffrey Hall

As a child, my two older sisters were already in elementary school and I could not wait to follow in their footsteps. Attending a school in the country over 60 years ago, we did not have kindergarten so I entered the first grade at the age of five.

My nemesis was reading, which was always a chore. Much of the time in elementary school I didnít even read my four page Weekly Reader. I can remember in junior high (now middle school) sitting on our shaded porch during the summer reading a book about Willie Mays, the Hall of Fame baseball player. I was so proud of myself reading when I didnít have to. Iím not sure if I ever finished the book. Of course, our educators have gotten smarter now requiring many students to do assigned summer reading. I would classify myself as an average student all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade and then through college.

I donít hold any credentials to confirm the following statement but I strongly feel that a development of a love for reading not only will help one through his educational years, but life in general. If you donít think this is a valid assumption, I suggest you read about Ben Carson in The Big Picture. Ben, an African American from a single parent family, who was called a dummy in his elementary school, was forced by his illiterate mother to read two books a week and write book reports on them. Over a brief period of time he became the smartest kid in his class. Later, Ben became the youngest head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.

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What new worlds can be opened up for each one of us through reading? Whether the book is about sports, history, how to do something, famous people, mysteries or a myriad of other topics, new worlds and experiences are sitting on the shelf waiting to expand our knowledge or just to entertain us.

Jeff Hall, Honey Brook, will be writing a monthly book review, Book Beat.