jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Reading at Night

A couple years ago I started reading classic books to my boys before bedtime. We started with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, then Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, followed unsuccessfully by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea 1. Next, we read one of my all time favorite books, Treasure Island, the classic pirate story from which nearly all other tellings of pirates are cribbed. We might go back and read that one again someday.

We just finished The Call of the Wild and decided to follow it up with White Fang. Jack London was a brilliant writer; he brings his audience with him to the harsh northern lands, where the law of club and fang is the only law. I’m looking forward to White Fang. So far we’ve only read the first chapter, but it starts out strong with two men, pursued by wolves, are returning the body of a third man from the snowy wilderness with a sled and six dogs.

Besides the books I read with the kids, I have a few in progress of my own. I’m reading through The Maze Runner, mainly so I can talk it over with my younger daughter. I’m also reading The Rough Riders, the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s time in the calvary during the Spanish-American War. Next on the list is Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro. I picked this one up at the Half Price Bookstore because Munro’s name is on a list of books, and the back cover looked interesting enough.

I also have The Martian by Andy Weir, based on recommendation by The Incomparable. Finally, I plan on finishing Moby Dick before summer, the Herman Melville classic that’s been on my mind to read for years. After finishing the four other books on my plate, I’m going to give that one my full attention.

I’m always looking for new book recommendations. I just add them to the list as they come in. I don’t expect I’ll ever actually finish the list, it seems to grow faster than I can read, which is exactly what I want. I imagine myself as an old man someday, surrounded by books. 2 Sometimes the books are fantastic, sometimes they are duds, but they always enrich my life in one way or another.

I consider myself a lifelong learner. Reading is simply another aspect of my desire to constantly better myself.

  1. I’m a bit mystified by people who enjoy this book. My boys and I found it quite boring, and I wound up skipping large sections devoted to describing, in detail, the fish and other underwater life. 

  2. Paper books. None of that ebook business. I like to own my books, and I’d rather they not run out of batteries.