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Let the summer reading adventure begin

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Lists for summer reading are always in vogue in the bookstores at this time of year. And with the official beginning of summer, we find ourselves in the midst of book covers with images of Nantucket-lookoing homes surrounded by white picket fences or lots of footprints in the sand leading nowhere. Sometimes there is a woman in a long dress sitting on the sand dunes.

Obviously there is a reason for not showing a ticket being written for an expired parking meter, people gnashing what little teeth they have left after winding through a construction zone where no one is working and of course any beach scenes that resemble the movie "Hangover."

That's because the plot is usually similar in all the books, a woman whose husband or lover has left her in a midlife crisis; it always happens in the summer. Or the woman may have left her husband; the leaving is attributed to finding themselves. This escape takes place in the only destination where answers to life's philosophical questions may be found, that place being staring out at the ocean. It's as if each wave has some sort of follow your bliss message.

I don't know where this notion came from, but I have to say it's impossible. The low probability of success is not because the ocean doesn't have answers, but because no one has time to read anymore. In fact, no books are being printed, period.

Sure it happens, but summer reading is mostly for coupons. You can no longer enter a store without them unless you want to feel totally humiliated, giving off the ambiance of you don't really care enough when the clerk asks for them. Mailboxes are stuffed with coupons to the point where most mailmen have to take at least two weeks of sick leave.

Other big items on the reading summer reading lists are stuff like text messages, Facebook, Twitter and of course directions on how to hook up a sump pump. I was never big on directions, preferring instead to rip the package open with my teeth and get right to the first stage. Richard Nixon left many bottles of aspirin around the White House with teeth marks on the lid.

Sure, it always looks so easy on the box. I should know better because on the back side, which you will notice when you fling it into the waste basket is a note written in microscopic letters that says, "We begged you to read the directions, but you wouldn't listen."

So anyway, back to summer reading. Seriously, have you noticed how many people on the beach are carrying books? Well sure, you say, but I mean have you seen them opened?

I'm one of those folks who have good intentions, but with all that sand, I tend to read the same paragraph over and over again. And then there is the guy next to me in the string bikini, no doubt European, walking back and forth. Not that I'm interested, but the contrast between whatever else is on the beach is startling to say the least. And then there is the water, where I will stick my big toe in only to retreat due to all the creatures normally only seen under a microscope in experimental laboratories.

Reading is a lost art for many people on the go or else it is very specific to their field. But reading a book allows you to unleash that imagination and go to places you never dreamed existed. It can take you out of your comfort zone and reach for those dreams that seemed so far away.

Today's summer reading mostly consists of how to live in an RV after your investment portfolio goes south or my personal best, "Going Undercover as a Deer to Break Up A Hosta Eating Ring." So get in the groove; yes, summer is the perfect time to keep reading or get back to the process. And no, reading your Miranda Rights doesn't count.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 8, 2016

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