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December 18th, 2000

By James Castwell

Reading can not only change the way you think, it can even form who you become. Did you ever give any thought to that idea? Life is pretty full these days, don't blame you if you don't spend a lot of time contemplating stuff like that. It's true though I think. When I was much younger I read almost any kind of book, as long as it seemed interesting, 'science-fiction' was the thing for me in my early teens. As the years rolled by my choice, yes I do mean choice, turned to nearly all non-fiction books.

I did not want to waste any time reading anything that could not do me any real good. Recreational reading seemed a luxury I had not the time for. Many were technical type, hardly ever from a library, purchased from bookstores and institutions. Time was too valuable to spend frittering away on fiction.

None of these books made much difference in who I was or eventually became. Oh, sure, they gave me knowledge which was important to my uses at the time, but they did not guide or develop my character. Perhaps that is why a few that did not fit the mold seem to stand out so well in my mind. They were the ones which were not instructional, or self-improvement which was a big rage in those years, but were rather informational written in an interesting way. Most if not all were on the theme of ecology or fly fishing.

I did subscribe occasionally to a sporting type but that was rare. I read little in the summer but as winter curtailed much of my fly fishing in Michigan, reading was one of the things I could afford. Winter is a good thing, it gives a rest from the hectic planning of spring, the involvements of summer and the relaxing times of fall. Winter is to recharge, both the body and the inner mind. I think it must have been planned that way even in the states which have no snow, things do change. Winter does for the whole person what eight hours of sleep does for us every night.

This is the time for us to take a deep breath, relax, chill-out, re-group, do some reading. Pick one of those books you already have, turn off the TV, fire up the stereo, stoke up the fire-place if you have one and allow some new ideas to enter your mind with a good book. It is hard to get any new ideas when we are talking all the time, a book will make us listen to the sincere thoughts of someone who just may have something to say.

As we read we tend to incorporate those thoughts. We add them to ourselves just as we add words in our vocabulary. Be selective about what you read, but take the time to recharge, let in some fresh ideas and continue to grow. It is not wasted time, it is your time and your chance to develop in any way you choose.

"Come on in 'Old Man Winter;' I'll put another log on the fire." ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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