Monday, July 4, 2016


I have 9000 books. I got them because what I like to do is to read.

I had the full adventure gene complex and signed up and went to the very first ongoing war I could find. I went to all the active military fronts my country had and spent a lifetime NOT READING.  I now prefer to put my feet up and read.

You can't do that when you're on the road with friends and lovers and you can't do it at the movies and you can't do it while watching television. [It's a secret but I can read the internets while observing TV but I still can't read a frigate book.]

There is NO FRIGATE like a book.

19 million books and I like to read.

It doesn't happen without time and space. I used to read 9 million words a minute but you cannot travel in your mind at that speed. I deliberately slowed down to read what I want to read. I no longer have to read 4000 navy messages/day or instructional manuals on ID1700 engines. I'm done with all that.

I know people who only read in bed.

I'm not one of them. Never was. I only read in bed in the dark because that was the only handful of minutes I was allowed to read by the people that controlled my life. I have no idea why it's an oddity that readers only ask to be left alone, so they can read the damned books. We all resurface in a day or two, like submarines rising for the Dominoes delivery man/girl every night at the pier.

Reading is a vice and it truly is best practiced alone, out of sight. Only coeds read in sunlight and only then on the school green while tanning. I'm not a coed, don't tan, and prefer to read alone.

My parents moved out of their house of two stories with a basement last month. That basement was my dad's. He read down there. You could tell by the trail of books left in his wake....ok, bookshelves and filing cabinets, newspapers, and a computer. He now lives in a special hell that readers know. It's the hell where people come up to you, kick you twice to get your attention and suggest that maybe we should do something.

He's 80 and he did something. More than anything in the world he'd like to put his feet up and read without interruption, without plants, without deer, without ....

Why is it so damned hard to read?

Yeah, I'm familiar with the answer, read on your own time. I've gone abroad, I've seen the Oliphant, I've waged war and I've seen the things that were worth seeing long ago. Short of time travel and good restaurants, I'd just like to read now.

There is always something.


Anonymous said...

As one who also likes to read, I have a stack of books in the ready position. I just finished Stealth Boat by McHale, published by the Naval Institute Press, which had good reviews but turned out to be mostly vignettes of bluejackets getting drunk on shore leave with bits about the USS Sturgeon patrols interspersed throughout.


HMS Defiant said...

You should read the wonderful tales by DV Gallery, LLDM. He was a master of stories of the what used to pass for the life naval. Admiral Gallery was a fine piece of work.

Anonymous said...

I have several of Gallery's books. Cap'n Fatso was an interesting look into the life of the pre-PC Navy.

Also, I have a collection of Commander (Rear Admiral) Ellsberg's books which are not only informative, but well written. It didn't appear that he put too much Navy polish in his books.


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

I should do a post about how I like to read.
But I really don't like to write all that much.

virgil xenophon said...

When I was a teenager I used to awake@ )0600 in the morning on weekends and all summer. Would use the quiet time before mom & dad got up to read--did about 50pp/hr in those days. College brought only assigned reading and the service almost none. Now retired I have to fight for time because of the damned innertubes & netflix, etc. The technology is like crack, very addicting..

(PS: You've got me beat in the book wars. Only about 7000 and I've got far less time than you on earth, so I'll never catch up, I guess, sigh.. :) )

HMS Defiant said...

I took the war college by correspondence. It was about 1900 pages of reading every week. I cannot imagine how other officers do that. Back then I was a Knight Bachelor and read alone.

HMS Defiant said...

Enroute to find them.