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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: More Than Words
By Genia Gilbert


"Poll: Majority lacks Trust in Government, * the headlines reach out and grab Bob, and he is off and reading. He devours the newspaper along with his breakfast. As his wife of considerable years, I observe as he takes a bite of bacon and a large chunk of news, a corner of toast and a turn of the page. Along with his coffee he drinks in hundreds of words from the local paper.

Later on, Bob will purchase and consume a state newspaper as well, filtering through a wider scope of information about happenings and the people who make them. The fact that he has to sort and disregard unimportant sections is in itself a challenge to him. He is so intent, in fact, that he can become unaware of his actual surroundings, and may even miss hearing the phone or doorbell.

Yet from these well-loved pages of newsprint, Bob is informed, incited at times to respond with letters and phone calls to senators and representatives or local officials, and most of all, he is made a part of the goings-on in the world.

The California Highway Patrol trooper, young with bristly yellow hair beneath his crisp hat, squinted through the windshield of his Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as he cruised south along Highway 1 in Monterey. . . . **

This is not a headline, but an inviting sentence at the beginning of a best-selling novel. You see, Bob also loves leisure reading, some light and entertaining, and other books that are history or a combination of history and fiction. Occasionally, he has to discard or return books as he encounters offensive material, but quickly finds a better one to take its place. He often becomes so absorbed that reality escapes him until it interrupts in some rude way, demanding attention to mundane tasks. As the wife, I am sometimes the agent of such abruptness.

However, Ive become aware that Bob derives from this kind of reading great pleasure, needed diversion, and relaxation. Deprived of it, there is a void, even panic sometimes, if he runs out of good books.

I will never leave you, nor forsake you, saith the Lord. . . . (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)

These words are straight from the Book of books, Gods written word. Bob approaches it with reverence, serious seeking, and regularity. He, avid reader that he is, enters a whole new dimension here, one which reaches from the divine to the human, touching his mind and heart with its rich words. It has become an integral part of his life, bringing well-roundedness and completeness.

Unlike the newspapers or other books, this wonderful volume is read, not only for information, nor strictly for pleasure, but as a means of communication with its infinite Author. Also, there is never a need to discount or filter any of these words, for all are relative and important. Through reading it, Bob is instructed, helped, led, or comforted, according to changing needs. Watching him, and sharing a similar experience, I know that this reading is indeed the greatest of all. Assimilating these words is life-giving, and by them Bob is continually changed. I am blessed to be his wife and observer of all these things.


* Texarkana Gazette, April 19, 2010.

** "Roadside Crosses," by Jeffery Deaver; Ch 1, pg.3; Copyright 2009

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This article has been read 486 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amanda Deed 04/22/10
This is a great picutre of an avid reader. You describe him so well. I especially love your comparison to eating and drinking in the first paragraph. Well done. :)
Dolores Stohler04/24/10
Boy, can I identify with your Bob. If there's a page of print anywhere around, I'm reading it. I even read when watching TV--when the commercials come on and I click on mute. Great idea; wish I'd thought of it.
Helen Dowd04/24/10
I like this article. It is informative, yet not boring. It carries the reader along, giving information, and at the end, inspiration...Good writing, as far as I am concerned....Helen
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
I understand Bob for I too must have something to read, even if it's a cereal box!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
Congratulations in placing in the top 40 over-all. Good job!