The Change Challenge: A Reader Responds


Dear Austin’s Acre (if that is your real name),


I read your last two posts with interest.  And I think I understand the concept of reading to help me become a better person. So I went to the store yesterday and picked up the classic, “Old Man and the Sea“.  I have a few questions about the book.  Specifically, I’m curious how you think this book will make me a better, wiser person in twelve months.


Signed,  Something’s Fishy

Dear Fishy,

First, if you read my posts carefully, you will note that I did not claim that reading would make you better.  I did say you would be older and wiser.  The older part has nothing to do with reading but I believe is related to time travel and quantum physics…the whole “space/time continuum” thing.

However, if you read ANY book you CAN become more wise.  For instance, let’s take a book off the shelf of the “ease into reading” list.  HOP ON POP is a timeless story that entertains and assists in the development of simple word formation and elementary reading skills for children. However, on closer inspection, we discover that it also teaches many important life lessons:
       1.  Don’t hop on Pop.
       2. Fish probably shouldn’t be in trees.
       3. When dogs get wet they yelp for help.
       4.  Mr. Brown is out of town.

These are critical life lessons and by reading this book you WILL become more wise.

As for the Old Man and the Sea, there are several obvious take-aways.
       1.  Don’t get old and go fishing.
       2.  If you are old and must fish, use smaller bate.
       3.  Otherwise, you will need a bigger boat.
       4.  Pack a hearty lunch, you never know how long you’ll be on the water.

I hope this helps you think about the importance of reading.  Your question is timely, as I was just about to sit down and watch my copy of the original Planet of the Apes (which has many life lessons of its own).  But I am now motivated to finish Winnie the Pooh.  Thank you.