Down the Backroads: The Love of the Printed Word

Posted on Mar 21, 2019

As much as I love this digital age we live in, at least when it comes to gathering information, I still am a bit old fashion in that I love the printed word; not files on a smart phone or computer but actual print in a newspaper, or magazine, or book.

For me, there is an inherent value in a real live book that is somewhat lost on a phone or laptop. The feel of the pages as they turn is not something you can experience in the digital world, although there are computer programs that give online publications that virtual page-turning effect.

I like the ability to place a bookmark in a page and leave the top sticking out, as to see my progress. I don’t ever have to worry about losing my connections or being in a place where I have no digital signal.

I don’t have to wonder if I have enough battery power to finish what I’m reading. And, I don’t have to place my book in a separate tray going through airport security.

I like old books and old book stores. I’m good with paperbacks. Of course, I like those coffee table books with lots of photos and colorful hardback covers.

I’m not sure where this love of books came from exactly, but much of it is due to my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Jenkins. She loved books and had several stacks all over her classroom at Sand Spring School.

She used to read to us every day after lunch. There was something about her voice that kept your attention and story time was one of my favorite times of the day.

More than learning to love books, Mrs. Jenkins taught us the art of listening, as well. A book is only beneficial, if we “hear” and understand what is being said in its pages. I’m not sure she intended that to be a lesson, but it was something I took with me long after I had moved on from her class.

I don’t mind telling you that occasionally, I read aloud to get a better comprehension of what it is I’m reading or what it is I have written. Each time I do this, I’m transported back to the fourth grade in that little country school and can hear Mrs. Jenkins voice reading aloud to my classmates and me.  

The world is much different now than when I was in grade school. Today, we have the ability to share ideas and content instantly, as well as grab facts in a blink of an eye that would have taken much longer many years ago.

In my early school days, we didn’t carry backpacks; we had book satchels.  We didn’t have the Internet; we had a dictionary and encyclopedias. We didn’t have a media center; we had a library.

nd while the way to get and distribute information is different today, many of the lessons learned from a fourth-grade teacher who read aloud to her students are still the same, at least in my mind.

The words we read and the words we share may only be beneficial if our audience can hear and understand clearly what it is we are saying, as we travel down the backroads.

 

Tim Thornberry
Editor, KFB News