Like many, my day isn’t complete without quiet time to read


Read anything good lately? That’s a question that can get my attention quickly. Reading has long been a great passion. I will read anything put in front of me.

Number one reading choice, naturally, is a newspaper and just about any will do. If a newspaper isn’t handy (and that’s not often) I will grab just about anything else printed ... the back of cereal boxes, jar labels, junk mail, you name it.

I’ve become a veritable fountain of worthless knowledge through many years of insatiable reading. It’s made me a whiz at the Baby Boomers version of Trivial Pursuit, but, unlike some of my more learned friends, genuine knowledge may have eluded me. If, as some great philosopher once said, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” — a regular reading habit might make you the walking-around equivalent of an atom bomb.

Want to be a better conversationalist? Read more. Want to travel to far away places but don’t have the money? Read more. Want to find out what made the greatest people of our time so great? Read more.

It’s also been said that nothing affects your life more than the people you meet and the books you read. Both can have dramatic, life-changing effects.

It was my parents’ daily ritual of reading the newspaper that first attracted me to this business. Especially my mother. Her day was considered incomplete if she couldn’t have a cup of coffee and a few, unhurried minutes to enjoy her daily newspaper.

Occasionally I will hear a young person talk about not having time to read a newspaper every day. We always find time to do those things most important to us. No matter what time of the night I may arrive home, sleep can’t come without looking through the daily newspaper first.

Even I don’t read all of a newspaper, though. It’s not designed that way. Your newspaper, even this one, purposely offers something for everyone. Who married who may not interest you in the least. A blow-by-blow account of Friday night’s ball game may be just what you are looking for. Newspapers offer variety.

(We even throw in a few errors for those nit-pickers who enjoy pointing out other people’s mistakes!)

A few quiet minutes with a newspaper can calm a frustrating day, soothe nerves and help regain perspective on life.

It’s no coincidence reading may be more of a habit for people as they get older. It is as we mature that we gain a greater appreciation for quiet moments and hunger for a little more knowledge.

A cartoon not long ago showed a youngster turning a newspaper over and over, a quizzical expression on his face.

“It is fully portable, has no RAM, no hard drive, but still contains how many megabytes of information??”

He is amazed.

After a lifetime of newspaper reading, I am, too.

• Robert M. Williams, Jr. is Editor & Publisher of The Blackshear Times. Email:

Robert M. Williams, Jr. can be reached at