Butch's column

It’s no secret, particularly to the Aurora Library staff, that my betterhalf is an avid reader. She reads her books the old fashioned way turning paper page after paper page, or she goes tech on me and keeps her nose in her Kindle.
Recently I caught her at the computer and asked her what she was doing. She told me she was updating her list of  “must read books” by adding those new issues to her list that still contained, I assume, the top 10’s of 2012. Then betterhalf told me she liked to read the most recently published books rather than the “old” ones. Her last statement puzzled me. But, that was nothing new. A lot of her statements over the years have puzzled me.
In my mind the question still remained, “Why would it make any difference when a book was published for a woman or anyone for that matter, who enjoys reading?”
The betterhalf claimed book authors seem to progressively write better novels thus making his latest book the best. As she broke into her reading theory, the betterhalf’s real reason actually came to the surface. Her reading centers mostly on mysteries she noted and after she has read several of the author’s books, she can figure out the “who dunnit” in his latest novel before she reads the last page.
Now it was my turn to point out to her I like to read new and older books. In fact, I have a shelf loaded with old books from my grandfather’s era and those books as well as old classics have provided me with some pretty good reading. I’ve had many hours of pleasure reading books by Mark Twain, Kipling, O’Henry and other noted authors. However, real pleasure came from a 1908 book, “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” and “When a Man’s a Man”  published in 1916. Well, you can understand how much that impressed her after I rattled off those titles.
I should have known she was going to make her final point in support of her new book over old book debate. I should have also known it would be a zinger.
The betterhalf smiled, looked me in the eye and then said, “After you criticized me over old vs new, just which would you rather read, today’s newspaper, or yesterday’s?”
***
An Aurora alum recently told me of her disappointment because many of her former classmates who lived in the area did not attend the banquet or her class festivities. This seems to be a common issue among alums throughout the nation and appears to have gotten worse in recent years.
I thought about the problem and I wonder if the problem has been compounded by the age of technology. Could it be the fact that today people use Facebook, Twitter and smartphone connections so frequently they have nothing more to visit about at a class reunion?
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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