Monday, December 17, 2007

Send me a man who reads.

When I was a child by family subscribed to “Reader’s Digest.” I was always the first one to grab it. The second thing I did was go through and read all the jokes. But the very first thing I read, even before all the jokes and cute stories, was an ongoing ad series by The International Paper Company. It was a series of biographies and vignettes about people and what they liked to read. The title and punch line was always “Send me a man who reads.” ( I understand that this series ran in several national magazines in 1960-61.)

The whole point of the series was that reading is the single most affective habit and the greatest skill we can possess. There is no greater predictor of success in life than how much and what a person reads.

I am constantly amazed at the amount of information available on virtually every subject. There are books, magazines, videos, conventions, conferences, trade organizations, and on-line forums on any and every thing a person can think of. The bottom line is this: there is no excuse for ignorance.

For a Christian, primary reading should be the Bible, but after that the possibilities seem endless. The Bible has inspired more writing than any other subject in history. There are commentaries, study guides, insights, and opinions on anything a person would ever need to know.

But reading other subjects is also worthwhile. I would not consider any major endeavor without first reading everything I can find on the subject. Before we opened Homer’s Coffee House, I read six or seven books about coffee for example. I am constantly amazed by people who have very limited knowledge about an activity that they are deeply involved with, when all they need to do visit the library or a bookstore and find tons of literature about the subject.

It’s simple – “just send me a person who reads.”