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

TITLE: "Run, Spot, Run !
By Marilyn Schnepp


The whole world was at war. Men were dying on land, sea and in the air, and I was reading, "Run Spot Run!"

(I wonder; do kids still learn to read from the Dick and Jane book of yesteryear?)

Reading changes with age. First came the animal books. I read every duck, dog, bear, tiger book I could find in the library. You name it, I read it.

Then in the teen years I graduated to Movie magazines. I never got an allowance from my parents, so my only income was a quarter for every "A" I got on my Report Card...so, of course, those quarters went for Photoplay, Movie Stars, Hollywood Secrets, etc., and usually some comic books thrown in for good measure. I don't know what my youth years would have consisted of, IF there had not been any books or magazines to read in my spare time.

(Younger folks won't understand this; but way back in the dark ages we didn't have television; and I smile in relief as I think of those good 'ole days when violence, sex and death weren't the daily, hourly and constant visual effects on us that they are on the kids growing up today.)

A reader walking into a library is akin to a sweet-toother walking into a candy store. Both walk in with their taste buds salvitating at the idea of all those goodies to choose from. All kinds, all different, all types and flavors, and then they stand there in the open aisle mind-boggled at "Which book, or What candy to choose?"

However, when a reader gets the desire to be a writer, the Library suddenly turns depressing, discouraging and dismal to them. They stand in this four story building with every floor covered with wall-to-wall books counting into the millions, and they begin to lose their moxie; "How in the world could I write a book and expect success when there are already so many books already here?"...then they slowly walk away depressed, feeling hopeless and yet keep thinking of that wonderful, beautiful, brilliant idea of theirs until it's too late, (as in six feet under, too late).

(I ponder about this. " How can The Library, bring so much joy to the reader, and yet so much hopeless dispair to the writer? After all they're equal partners in the success or downfall of a Library. One writes so the other can read. And if nobody writes, nobody reads. )

One thing I do know, however, and that is that every person on earth has a life story to tell that is unique, different, perhaps off the wall or out in left field, but NOBODY ever lives an identical life to somebody else, so every story is diverse.

The reader-side of me loves to read true life stories that inspire, depict, encourage, frighten, amaze or make me weep or laugh with emotion; while the writer-side of me secretly wants to top that story with one of my own, which I humbly ("cough, choke, choke") believe would Stop the Clock, Take the Cake and Ring the Bell on the New York Best Seller List.

(There's one book of stories I couldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Nobody could ever top Bible Stories; Daniel's story of the Lions Den, Jonah's tale about the fish, Sampson's story about his humiliating hair-cut, or the many stories of Jesus that are amazing, powerful, fascinating, masterful and enlightening. And No, nobody can top the stories in the Holy Bible."

Without Writers there would be no Readers; AND without The Reader, writers would become extinct...along with knowledge.

Yes Indeed, "Run, Spot,Run!"

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/24/10
You've taken me from pre-TV days to the present, from "Run, Spot, Run!" To the "Bible." Then you made me smile at some of your editorial comments. :) I agree with this, "every person on earth has a life story to tell that is unique." This was quite a journey!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
I really enjoyed how you described how much reading means to you.

A small suggestion would be to use the word I when you are talking about the writer feeling overwhelmed and discouraged when looking at the library. Tell me how you feel, but when you use you - you are assuming all writers feel that way. It will also help you keep your connection with the reader.

I did enjoy how you divided it up in sections and did a great job relating your feelings to the topic.
Mildred Sheldon05/05/10
I also remember those old readers. Run Spot Run was one of my favorites. I truly enjoyed your article. It was like a walk down memory lane.