The Art of Reading

Reading is my addiction. It has been since I picked up a Hardy Boys book from the Pennsauken Library over 57 years ago. I estimate that I have read about 5500 books and that number continues to grow but at a slower pace from my youth. I try to limit my number of reading heavy books (over 350 pages) as I get older.

Reading is an intellectual diet. There are books that nourish one’s soul and brain. But there are also books that serve as junk food for the mind. They may not nourish one’s mind or soul but they do provide temporary substance or enjoyment.

Shown below is a brief profile of my reading tastes

  1. I prefer reading non fiction books over fiction.
  2. I generally do not read fiction books from women authors.
  3. I have no interest in poetry, science fiction and religious books.
  4. My favorite book topics are history, politics, philosophy, biographies, psychology, sports, business, economics, spy and detective novels.
  5. I used to read self help books and books on how to improve business results in your career but I have outlived their usefulness.
  6. I tend to avoid books authored by politicians and celebrities.
  7. I read one book at at time.
  8. I rarely re-read an entire book.
  9. My favorite place to read is the sun porch on my house.
  10. I don’t multi-task as I read. No TV or music.
  11. Generally if a book does not hold my attention or interest in the first 20-30 pages, I will put it down.
  12. My best sources of finding new reading material that I may have an interest include: The New York Times Sunday Book Review section, Kirkus reviews, Book TV and interviews with authors on news shows and television.
  13. Generally when I target a book that I have interest, I look to borrow the book from my town library. If I can’t find it in my town library, I will probably buy it from Amazon Kindle. If I have a discount coupon from Barnes and Noble, I may purchase  a hardcover or paperback, if it is cost efficient.
  14. If I own a book, I may underline sentences and paragraphs that I may wish to reference or remember later.
  15. I look up the defintion of words in a book that I do not know the meaning.
  16. I use Goodreads to catalog and archive the books I read, when I read them and offer a brief review and rating.

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Last 30 books that I have read

Best of South Jersey/Philadelphia

Image by AxxLcc

Philadelphia Magazine usually publishes a “Best of list” of restaurants, bakeries, places to visit, celebrities etc. that focuses on Center City and the outlying Pennsylvania suburbs. My list is very provincial, mostly places in Camden and Burlington counties. It only reflects my tastes and I have very pedestrian tastes so buyer/reader beware! For amusement purposes only…

Best Breakfast Restaurants: 1. Amy’s Omelette House, Cherry Hill; 2. First Watch Cherry Hill; 3. Perkins, Moorestown NJ

Best Lunch Restaurants: 1. Tre Famiglia, Haddonfield 2. Dooneys, Voorhees; 3. Zoe’s Cherry Hill and Moorestown

Best Bar Food: Blue Monkey, Merchantville

Best Chain Restaurants: 1. Maggiano’s; 2. Brio’s; 3. Olive Garden

Best Diner: 1. Ponzio’s, Cherry Hill; 2. Silver Diner Cherry Hill

Best Buffalo Wings: Pronto, Merchantville

Best Milkshakes: 1. My wife’s; 2. Maple Shade Custard Stand

Best Pizza: 1. Tacconelli’s Maple Shade; 2. Manco and Manco, Ocean City; 3. Bertucci’s, Moorestown

Best Cheeseburger: 1. Habit Burger, Cherry Hill; 2. Five Guys, Cinnaminson

Best French Fries: 1. Five Guys, Cinnaminson; 2. McDonalds, Cinnaminson

Best Hoagies: 1. Jersey Mike’s, Cinnaminson 2. DiPascale’s at Meadowbrook, Pennsauken

Best Return on Investment: Purchase of Sunday New York Times on Kindle for $.99

Best Current Big 5 Coach: Jay Wright, Villanova

Best Big Five Coach Ever: Jay Wright, Villanova

Best Current Big Five Player Not Playing for Villanova: Ryan Daly, St Joseph’s

Best Current Philadelphia Sports Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Best Current Philadelphia 76er Player: Ben Simmons

Best Ever Philadelphia 76er Player: 1. Wilt Chamberlain; 2. Julius Erving

Best Philly Broadcaster All Time: 1. Harry Kalas; 2. Gene Hart; 3. Bill Campbell

Best Sports Event No Longer in Philadelphia: U.S. Pro Indoor Tennis Tournament

Current Sports Event that’s not like it use to be: Big 5 Palestra basketball games

Best Athletes from Willingboro NJ: 1. Carl Lewis; 2. Gino Marella (Gorilla Monsoon-WWE); 3. Ken Caldwell

Best Place to Play Pickleball: Anyplace where my friends are currently playing

12 Things That No Longer Interest Me

As one gets older, one tends to downsize interests, activities and that one pursued or took part in throughout their life. Here is an initial list of things that were important earlier in my life but not so much now…

  1. Advertising: As my need to buy and own things lessen so is my interest in advertising or sales pitches. I hate commercials on TV and ads when I’m watching something on Youtube.
  2. Gossip: I’ve pretty much lost the ability to be shocked even surprised by the behavior of people especially celebrities, athletes and politicians.
  3. Long books and articles: I don’t have the same mental stamina that I had years ago. I tend to avoid books over 300 pages.
  4. Snow since I don’t go to school and I don’t have to drive to go to work, snow has become largely irrelevant except when I have to shovel it
  5. Winning At Contests Or Competition: When I play pickleball, I can’t tell you what my wins and losses were that day. My ultimate criteria is whether I had fun.
  6. Making New Year’s Resolutions While there are things I need to improve, I don’t need to formalize or plan how to do it.
  7. Diets: Too old, too late for me to discipline my taste buds and eating habits.
  8. Local Sports Talk Radio: The dumbest things ever said are mentioned on political social media sites and sports talk radio shows.
  9. Expensive Meals: A great tasting pizza can blow me away more than the priciest lobster. Dining out is the opportunity to socialize and connect with friends. Food is often incidental.
  10. Attending professional sporting events: With the exception of high school sports, I have lost interest in attending pro and college football, baseball and basketball games at the various venues. No interest in paying for parking and squeezing my big butt into an expensive seat when I could be comfortable at home watching the game.
  11. Ego: I no longer feel the need to impress. I don’t need to worry about what people think of me. I feel more authentic, more comfortable with who I am.
  12. Wealth: Health and time are more important than money. One always needs money but if your health is bad and you are not enjoying time due to pain, loneliness, boredom or infirmity, your life is poor.  You can’t buy contentment.