Books and Newspapers
I am not going to claim that this idea is revolutionary or even new, but it occurred to me yesterday that the main difference between books and newspapers is fact and ideas. A friend was telling me that he gave up reading books years ago and only reads free online publications these days. I said that I thought he was subjecting himself to only the depressing part of reading, and missing out on the uplifting ideas in many books.
Newspapers are about how many people died in which wars and where; how many people have lost their jobs; rapes; murders; government cuts… they are depressing and don’t attempt to be anything else.
It strikes me that reading only that seven days a week just because it is free, without the counterbalance of excitement and hope for the future that is in many books is dangerous for the equilibrium of the mind.
‘How many times have you read a newspaper that you couldn’t put down?’ I asked him. ‘Compare that with the number of books that engrossed you to the point that you were sorry to reach the end’.
I do not expect a conversion, but he will go away and think about it.
After that 80mm grasshopper the other day, came another new animal today. It is in the picture here. A
tree shrew. When I first saw it, I thought it was a rat, but they are rare – I have only seen one in eleven years. Then it jumped into a tree and looked very at home, so I thought ‘a squirrel’. My wife said ‘no’, and gave me the Thai name (gra-dtae) and someone on the Internet translated it for me.
My NaNoWriMo entry, ‘A Night in Annwn’ is coming on nicely at 57% complete. It is about a Welsh sheep farmer, who undergoes a near-death experience. It will be released on December 10th, but you can pre-order it here in case you forget.
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All the best,
Podcast: Books and Newspapers