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God Damned Young People Never Crack A Book

The problem with young people today is that they don’t read books.

Back in my day, books were an important part of our lives. We read them, cherished them and often gathered to burn them in the town square. They educated, entertained and brought communities together in fear.

My old Dad always had a book in his hands. If you failed a spelling test he’d whack you with a dictionary. Fall asleep in church and he’s brain you with a bible. And God forbid you had trouble in geography because the printed World Atlas could hobble you for days.

We had no choice but to read damn it. It was the only form of entertainment we had other than radio programs, shadow puppetry and the annual trip to see Edna Price, the neon tube swallower at the World Circus Sideshow. Books opened our minds to a world of daring pirates, righteous cowboys and carefully re-written history. We loved them.

Books were also our primary source of learning. We didn’t have the internet and half-assed sources of information like Wikipedia in my day. If we needed facts we went to the library and hauled out a 15-pound dusty tome from the mid-1800s or consulted a 27-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And let me tell you – if you couldn’t find the answer you were looking for, you weren’t meant to know it.

But these young people today, they don’t read books. They don’t read anything at all beyond text messages and the words printed on the ass of each other’s sweat pants. They wouldn’t recognize a book if you took them to a library, sat them in the adult fiction section and force fed them a hard cover copy of The Grapes of Wrath.

They don’t have time for real reading and can’t fathom trying to digest anything longer than 140 characters in length. They have no damned attention span and aren’t willing to invest time in anything that requires effort, thought or patience.

It’s a damned disgrace and a terrible shame. If this keeps up it won’t be long before libraries become museums and we’ve forgotten how to read entirely. We’ll be nothing more than a nation of illiterate, tweet-farting morons. And as our society crumbles around us the ultimate irony will be that we weren’t even able to read the writing on the wall.

They don’t read books. That’s the problem with young people today.

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148 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:02 am

    Just a quick note to any of the folks that visit regularly:

    I’ve been at this damned blog for a while now and, frankly, can’t keep up the pace of posting something new every three days. I’ve fallen behind on my letter writing campaigns, my journal of suspicious car licence plate numbers and my garden has gone to Hell (I haven’t trimmed a bush or pulled a weed in months.)

    So, I’ve decided that for the time being I will limit my posts to one a week. It’s hardly earth shattering news and I suspect life as we know it will continue but I didn’t want anyone to think I’d died suddenly and call 911. I hate it when the Fire Department kicks in your door just to find you eating a bowl of Chex in front of the television.

    That’s damned embarrassing.

    Your friend,

    Don Mills

    • 9:15 am

      What sort of bushes do you trim Don?

      • 11:38 am

        Thanks for asking Nursemyra,

        I have an unruly boxwood that needs some attention and a mock orange that could use a trim. But my main concern is Aggie’s rose bush.I’ve been very neglectful.

        All the best,

        Don

      • David permalink
        10:57 pm

        Nursemyra, I fear that Don has not been forthcoming. I’ve seen that boxwood and it never has a stray frond of foliage and I’m pretty sure that mock orange died back in ’82.

  2. 12:30 am

    You’re right as always, Don. I guess it was really dumb of me to decide to be an author! I wish you’d shared this wisdom with me before I wrote two books. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Good thing they’re ebooks and on Kindle too. Do kids read those?

    As for posting once a week, you know we would have been worried sick if you failed to show up in 3 days so thanks for thinking of us!

    • 11:42 am

      Many thanks for the comment and the concern Claire,

      I’m afraid I don’t know anything about ebooks. I tend to stick to the large print hardcovers from the library. And I would have sworn that “Kindle” were those damned egg-shaped chocolates that come with the little toy inside.

      Regardless, you keep on writing. There are plenty of us older folks around that still enjoy a good cowboy story.

      All the best,

      Don

  3. Lily Fossil permalink
    12:43 am

    Dearest Donald,

    Thank you so much for letting us know and I agree, a blog once per week is quite sufficient. The fact that you have been able to write something nothing short of brilliant every three days is quite astounding and if I had anything to say in the matter I would vote you the Best Blogger of the Year 2009.

    I recall earlier in the year, when you were slightly late with a post and several of us regulars were just about ready to send out the Search and Rescue party, so I appreciate you letting us know.

    As Confucius say: Weeds wait for no man.

    I will return shortly to add my two cents worth regarding your latest gem.

    Your Bloomin’

    Lily

    • 11:44 am

      Many thanks Lily,

      I truly appreciate the kind words.I look forward to reading your two cents worth. It’s always a highlight of my day.

      Best regards,

      Don

  4. 1:00 am

    If you have done nothing more than add the delicious locution “tweet-farting” to the language, you have done enough for the week.

    • 11:46 am

      Thank you sledpress,

      Tweet-farting just seemed like an appropriate description. I’m glad you approve.

      Always wonderful to have you stop in. I hope all is well.

      Don

  5. 1:26 am

    Thanks for letting us know, Don. I enjoy your posts even when I don’t comment. I laughed at the dusty reference books. Even when I was a kid, we still used those.

    • 11:50 am

      Thank you Lillian,

      Those books had substance, there is no doubt about that. Dusty and heavy as Hell too. Our books built brains and brawn. Sometimes it took two of us to lift them off the shelf.

      Nice of you to visit with me Lillian,

      All the best,

      Don

  6. Mystsong permalink
    1:34 am

    I think I love you, Sir. May I have your children? I promise to raise them as proper library patrons.

    I’ve long been the subject of ridicule for my passion for the written word. As long as I can remember I’ve read almost everything I could get my hands on, with a particular passion for fantasy novels. In fact, my friends are half convinced that my not having a book on my person is ground for dragging me to a doctor. If I’m not reading something must be wrong with me.

    I’ve been doing more than usual the pasts few days due to illness and I must say, towers of waded up tissues aside, it’s been quite a pleasant experience. Now if only that damn fever would go down so I could get to a bookstore…

    • Yellowroses91o permalink
      1:41 am

      I’m gone for a week and I get replaced in my relationship by Don Mills!?

      That said I read classical literature often, and with out prompting. In fact two of my make shift walls are made of book cases filled with fiction, history,Witchcraft,new age and any other subject of book you an think of. I read o much in dark rooms I needed reading glasses at seventeen. I also write daily, in a way unattached to school.

      Forever your book worm,
      Rose

      • Mystsong permalink
        4:33 am

        I’m not replacing you! You know between us we lack the proper equipment to make babies, I was finding a way around that.

        At least you only need glasses to read. I can’t see the numbers on my goddamn clock from eight feet without glasses. Or do much of anything, really.

        • Yellowroses91o permalink
          8:31 pm

          >___> <____< Science has a way.

    • 11:56 am

      Many thanks Mystsong and Rose,

      Nice to see you and glad to hear that you are both avid readers.

      As for having my children…well they are in their 50s now but if you can find them you’re damned well welcome to them.

      All the best and thanks for visiting with me. Always a pleasure to hear from you both.

      Best regards,

      Don

  7. 1:40 am

    Once a week???? Come on, Don? What is her name?

    I hope your schedule gets better in the near future and you post more than once a week. Meanwhile I’ll keep on checking for more news.

    Now, about this reading thing: the other day I heard this young man delivering a heated speech in which he accused adults of being unfair by saying that kids don’t read. I don’t know from which planet he is from. I know I’m from a planet where I read some of the most impressive pearls written by kids. Check those amazing thoughts regarding ‘Global Warming':

    “We got to destroy the destroyers because the destruction saves the forest!” [I guess he made his point]

    “The forest is full of extinct animals. Man has to stop destroying so that the extinct animals may reproduce and increase their number so they can breathe a cleaner air” [The real miracle of life]

    “The emotion of atmospheric pollutants warms up the forest” [he was so full of emotion that he misspelled emission… poor thing]

    “Some companies contribute for renewable trees” [in life everybody has to have a child, write a book and plant a renewable tree]

    “We need oxygen for our eternal life” [Amen!]

    “The rain forest cannot be destroyed by unauthorized people” [applications now open]

    “There are a lot of animals in the Amazon forest such as lions, bears, birds, etc.” [Animal globalization]

    “What are we going to leave for our ancestors?” [How about some dictionaries?]

    Sad…

    Ivan.

    • 12:06 pm

      Thank you Ivan,

      You made me laugh more than a few times there, son. Thank you for that.

      I’m afraid there is no woman involved Ivan. Beyond being a little past the skirt-chasing stage of life, I long ago realized that I would always be faithful to the memory of my Aggie. I’d say the chances of me getting into a romantic entanglement are about as likely as those extinct animals reproducing so that they can breathe cleaner air.

      Still, the very notion gave me a chuckle.

      And those damned essay responses are as scary as they are funny, Ivan. Thanks for sharing them with me.

      Get the car ready, lad. It’s almost time to start mooning those idiots at the UN.

      Obrigado para o riso meu amigo

      All the best,

      Don

    • 1:15 am

      My mother was a georgraphy teacher. Her best student contributions to the World’s mis-knowledge were….

      When asked about what coral was: “Coral is made up of millions of tiny sea orgasms”.

      When asked about what features would lead to the establishment of a port (access to inland transport, sheltered bays, a workforce… etc.): “One important factor would be access to whorehouses.” This actually got a point as one could hardly argue with it.

      • 1:16 am

        Actually, she was a geography teacher, not a georgraphy teacher… I believe that would be someone that teaches the works of George Bernard Shaw…

  8. Friar permalink
    1:56 am

    @Don

    About the only way you’ll get kids to read today, is with “Graphic Novels”.

    Which is just another fancy word for “comics”. Except they throw in some soft porn now and then.

    As for blogging, do what I do: don’t set a schedule.

    You’re a senior, dammit. You’ve paid your dues. You’re retired. You don’t have to anwser to anyone anymore.

    Write when you want…if you want.

    Makes it much easier that way…and more fun.

    Plus, it’ll keep the God-damned young people guessing… They’ll think you’ve had a stroke or something.

    • 2:55 pm

      Many thanks Friar,

      I appreciate the advice and agree that it is wise to keep the young people a little off guard. It keeps them on their toes damn it.

      Many thanks.

      Don

  9. zeusiswatching permalink
    2:17 am

    You are right about tweet-farting young people, but “young” includes a lot of 40 somethings anymore — people who never grew up and act like their kids too.

    I’ve been asked more than once about the books in our house: “You can’t possibly have read all of these books; why don’t you get rid of some of these?” What can one say? Nothing. They will never understand why I don’t have a vibrating iphone up my arse and a direct connection from my eye sockets to a porn site.

    They are barbarians I tell you. They will one day acquire the use of fire starting tools and we are in deep damn trouble.

    • 3:56 am

      The visual from the vibrating iPhone, etc., is killing me. Is there a cartoonist in the house?

    • 3:11 pm

      Wonderful comment Zeusiswatching,

      It’s amazing to me that young people don’t see any value in holding onto books. They’re fine with having two computers, a dozen game consoles, a plethora of handhold devices and a 50 inch television cluttering up their damned rooms but God forbid you want to have a bookcase or two around.

      And I’m not surprised they want to keep phones up their asses – that’s where their heads are after all and I suppose it makes it easier to take a damned call.

      I suspect we don’t have to worry about them starting to use tools but access to fire is troubling. God damned barbarians indeed.

      Many thanks,

      Don

  10. 3:46 am

    they can’t add either anymore, don. first the calculator and now the computer. i still take my abacus to the grocery store so i can make sure the cashiers don’t rob me, and you won’t find me without my slide rule at the bank.

    maybe you should divide your posts into segments of 140 characters each and put one segment up per day. your loyal readers will have something new every day, and you might attract some of those tweet-farting morons who should be reading what you have to say. :wink:

    • 11:20 pm

      Many thanks Nonnie,

      Even if I went to 140 characters and included a great deal of poor spelling and profanity I don’t think the damned young people would have the slightest interest in what I have to say. Perhaps I need to look into cutting a hippy hop record.

      And you’re damned right about the adding and subtracting. Watching a young person attempt mental math is as damned painful as it is funny. You can smell the wires burning.
      All the best, Nonnie.

      Don

  11. downcastmysoul permalink
    4:35 am

    They can’t make change either. This young boy at the BANK did not know how to make change for a 20. He is no longer there (probably promoted to management at the head office). They can’t walk (they just point “over there”) I make ‘em show me.

    I got interested in books in my mid 20s when, for a few months, I was without a TV for the first time in my life. I found them better company than the tube. I set about reading the books I was SUPPOSED to read in school and went on from there.

    There is no substitute for a book. I’m a little suspicious of this new fangled Kindle thingie. Why buy when there’s a library anyway? I keep them going with all my late fees, anyway. A book can go anywhere even to Armageddon. With a laptop you can go most places but if there’s no signal, no computer and if the battery dies…Books are the stuff. Unfortunately, I’m about to need reading glasses, something I thought I would never need. I refuse bifocals, for now. Maybe at fifty? Eleventy?

    You can’t reduce your output, Don…your blog is the reason I go on living…what will I dooooo. I guess I’ll survive, but very diminished.

    • 11:27 pm

      Many thanks Downcastmysoul,

      There is absolutely nothing better than a good book – I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know anything about Kindle or ebooks – give me a well-bound hard cover any day of the week.

      And I also agree about buying books. I used to buy them but nowadays I pick up all my reading at the local library. I love the damned library. It’s free, a nice outing and mercifully devoid of young people.

      And as for my reduced output…if you’re spending less time here, you’ll be able to get to work on finding a cure for my damned rash. It’s been 4 months now and I’m still waiting for some form of diagnosis. Last time I checked, the damned rash looked like a relief map of Central America (and it was just as volatile).

      All the best,

      Don

      • downcastmysoul permalink
        5:45 am

        Volatile as in volcanoes erupting??? Left wing takeovers? Hurricanes? Are any of your rashettes snow capped? I need a cartographer as well.

      • Monica permalink
        11:08 pm

        Which library are you frequenting? In my public library, fully half the patrons there are under 20!

        • 11:38 pm

          Many thanks Monica,

          If it’s crawling in young people I’d be wary. There is either some kind of drug distribution ring at work or they are gathering to terrorize and rob older folks. Use caution lass.

          Best regards,

          Don

    • 10:05 pm

      I have this horrible feeling that I will reconcile myself to laser eye surgery the day before I discover that I need bifocals. Oh, the irony – rather like only being able to afford “high end” hifi once age-related hearing loss has set in…

  12. 5:05 am

    I read books! I’m against this stereotype of young people never reading books!

    I used to be a real bookworm when I was a lot younger. I think it was when I started playing weekend sports that I read books a lot less. Then I entered high school, and the only books I read were my text books.

    But now that I’m in university, I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading. I had to read a lot of different texts for study purposes, and before I began reading again, I was finding it difficult to read more than a few pages of a text book.

    I read books, Mr Mills. I read.

    • 11:35 pm

      Many thanks Danica,

      My apologies if I cast too broad a net but I tend to shoot from the artificial hip sometimes. I also stand by my assertion that most damned young people just aren’t interested in books.

      However, I’m glad to hear you’re in the habit of reading, Danica. I think the key is starting young. If you develop an interest early in life it may come and go depending on your circumstances but it never leaves you completely.

      Enjoy your books and good luck in University. May I ask what you are studying?

      Best regards,

      Don

      • 7:01 pm

        I’m currently doing a Bachelor of Business and Commerce, majoring in Financial Mathematics. I originally thought it would just be a lot of maths, which I can handle, but there is a lot of Marketing and Economics involved, hence, the many large textbooks. I think I may even have to do a Law subject later on. I’ve heard their textbooks are even thicker than my Marketing one, which resembles an encyclopedia.

    • Ryan permalink
      1:02 am

      I am another young person who defies your stereotype(at least in the case of reading).

      I started reading in first grade and have continued to be an avid reader since. The reading only falters when the books do and even then I reread some of my favorite ones.

      I do however use the kindle to read my books and a kindle is arguably not a book. It falls short in the “whacking” compartment and is far surpassed by a dictionary or encyclopedia.

      Your article was very funny and I generally agree with everything written.

  13. 5:11 am

    And as for your less frequent blog posting — do what you will. We can survive with one or two less posts from you a week. Maintaining your garden is more important than updating this.

  14. 12:35 pm

    You have more than earned a breather to appreciate the daisies and the bindweed. But wise to let folk now, an SOS, or SOD I suppose, would be too scary.

    It’s not just young people that can’t read, some of the elders have problems. During my career as a clinical psychiatrist I made a couple of (very) minor contributions to the medical literature. One from 1987 concerned anorexia nervosa in women being secondary to adult male incest, not always but often.

    Fast forward to 2006 and a ‘new’ research paper makes the same claim. I check and it does not reference my work. I wrote a huffy letter to the editors to point out the oversight and hint at plagiarism. Their reply was profound. As my work was before 1990, and only in paper format, it was now irrelevant ‘cos only electronically available work from after that date is required.

    So, folks, expect to see claims for the healing powers of penicillin and other ‘new drugs’ which have been around for decades, but only in typed paper copies.

    Sir, the world is well on its way in the handcart.

    Enjoy your garden,

    dave

    • 11:41 pm

      Quite an amazing tale, Dave, and damned infuriating I would think. Amazing to see just how short-sighted all of this new technology has really made us.

      Nice to see you.

      Don

      p.s. I’m not familiar with bindweed but I do have some daisies and will definitely take some time to appreciate them. Daylillies are the flower of choice in my garden.

      • 12:28 pm

        Oh, if you had bindweed you would know all about it and appreciate it.

        And day lilies are the best! I’m splitting mine and getting ready for winter right now.

        I shall miss your more frequent postings, but gardens must be tended.

  15. jammer5 permalink
    1:05 pm

    I used to read everything when I was a kid: Ayn Rand, Ray Bradbury, James Fenimore Cooper, Edger Allen Poe, Isaac Asimov, T.H.White . . . spent many a night with a flashlight under the covers, reading great books and getting transported to wondrous lands. Now these young punks wouldn’t know a complete sentence if it jumped off a page and bit em. Ever tried to decipher tweets? I’ll pass, thank you very much. Give me the classics any day.

    • jammer5 permalink
      1:07 pm

      It’s football season, I wouldn’t have time to answer all the blog posts anyway, so once a week is fine by me :-)

    • David permalink
      10:49 pm

      Please tell us more about what you were doing with that flashlight under the covers?

      And if you tell us it was just reading and you had to hide that from your parents because it was after your bedtime, then the old geezer parents of a generation must be why kids don’t read anymore. I’m just saying…

      • jammer5 permalink
        1:06 am

        David, back when I was a kid, we didn’t talk about such things :-)

    • 11:49 pm

      A fine reading list Jammer.

      Throw in some Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London and Jules Verne and I think we have a halfway decent library between us.

      I’ve never even seen a tweet. Wouldn’t know how to find one and don’t care to learn.

      Many thanks and best regards,

      Don

  16. 3:36 pm

    Well Don, I just don’t know what to say.

    Ha! Just kidding! (as if that would ever happen)

    First of all, I agree with everything you wrote. When I was young, I was a huge reader…Hamlet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies…in fact, I read almost everything that my favorite author (a man by the name of Mr. Cliff Notes) ever wrote.

    He was a great writer, that Man. Diverse, yet straight to the point, and best of all, he didn’t use a lot of big words that people like me sometimes find confusing. Kids these days could sure learn a lot from cracking open one of Cliffs books, that’s for sure.

    And, although I’ll miss you like a young girl would miss the “wrinkly little old man who gives her handfuls of change and sticky scotch mints from his pocket every time her parents take her to visit him,” I understand why you must scale back. Like I said before, if I had the sticktoitiveness you have to focus on your letter writing campaigns and such, Cameltoe would most likely be just a distant monstrosity.

    Good luck, Don. And from now on, Sundays will be my holy days. (I’ll move laundry to Tuesdays)

    Your much less-aged friend always,
    Bschooled

    Ps. These shadow puppets sound intriguing, I may need to get more details from you. (I feel an inspirational sculpture coming on…)

    • 12:22 am

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      Always a treat to have you stop in.

      I can’t tell you how delighted I am to hear that you are interested in the lively art of shadow puppetry. My brothers York, Elgin and I used to spend countless hours amusing ourselves with nothing more than a flashlight, a bare wall, our imaginations and nimble fingers. I highly recommend it. It’s decent, inexpensive fun and always popular at a party.

      As for your reading habits, I’m not familiar with this Cliff Notes lad but I am glad to hear that you have a taste for the classics. Mr. Golding’s version of Lord of the Flies was one of my all-time favorites.

      Take care. Next time you see Auntie D pick out a nice pre-1930 book for yourself and have her send me the bill. It’s the very least I can do.

      Your friend,

      Don

  17. 3:44 pm

    I’ll accept that as long as your long lost relative, Alan Truitt, fills in the gaps. ;-)

    BTW…I can tell you must have your mind on other things, you have mistakenly used the word “know” instead of “now”. That is not like the Don we all “know” and love. ;-)

    • 12:28 am

      Thanks yorksnbeans,

      I’ve corrected the error and appreciate your bringing it to my attention. I’ve been making more and more of those kinds of mistakes lately and it has me concerned. I’m slipping.

      That Truit lad is a distant relative (he’s brother York’s grandson). I don’t hear from him often (thank god for small miracles) but next time I speak to him I’ll be happy to tell him to get off his lazy ass and get back to work.

      All the best and thanks again for pointing out the error. I don’t care for sloppy mistakes.

      Don

  18. 7:12 pm

    I loved reading as a child. Penthouse Forum was the kind of “real life” stuff that kept me entertained for hours.

    This “Grapes of Wrath” you mention. Is that the one with the dancing raisins? Love those commercials.

    What the hell am I supposed to do the other 6 days of the week?

    • 12:42 am

      Many thanks for visiting Mr. Tannerleah,

      I’m not familiar with the Penthouse Forum novels but did read the Hardy Boys series for a while back when I was a lad so I understand your enthusiasm. Nothing like a good book to get the blood flowing.

      Unfortunately, I think we’re talking about two different Grapes of Wrath. To the best of my knowledge they never turned it into a television commercial. (I’m sure they would if they could.)

      And I agree with you about the raisins. Who doesn’t love a dancing raisin? Damned cute.

      Many thanks for visiting, TL. Always good to see you.

      Don

  19. 8:44 pm

    When I was young we didn’t have no fancy books or fancy book learnin’. We was schooled by the fire light illuminated from the open hearth of our one room log cabin and we done our cypherin’ on the back of shovels with a piece of coal…and we liked it. WE LOVED IT!!!!

    These damn kids today have it so easy with their books and pages made from emulsified wood pulp and other such nonsense.

    We didn’t have no indoor plumbin’ niether. We done our “stooling” in a outhouse over a whole dug in the ground..winter, spring or summer amd we used corn cobs or leave to tidy up back there.

    Yet these damn kids today brag about their fancy Walkman’s and boom boxes and of course, their slide rules.

    Progress is evil. They complicate things. eOne of my great nieces brought one of them odd lookin’, new fangled gadgets that open tin cans and such. I opened the box thing it came in and didn’t know what it was. It was all shiny and silver. Kinda pretty, actually.

    Then I had Pa come in and shoot the damn thing.

    LK

    • 12:53 am

      Many thanks Laurie,

      A damned refreshing perspective and a one that is always welcome here. It’s a real shame that, as a society, we have started to forget about the value of things like corn cob toilet paper, summing on shovels and a having healthy fear of progress. It speaks poorly for the state of the nation and is a damned shame as well. Thank you for reminding us all of a better and simpler time.

      Wonderful to hear from you Laurie,

      Don

  20. 8:50 pm

    Mr Mills

    Hmmmm..you are both right and wrong as I see it…these kids today should have to wake up in english class and do their god damn book reports by hand on the classics like Hamlet….and Macbeth and the one about girl and the boy……on the other hand kids going to college are at an all time high so some kids are reading in between fornicating and smoking doobies…..maybe they need the 900 pages edition of the life and times of Donald Mills..that will learn the little bastards…zman sends

    • 1:10 am

      Many thanks Zman,

      An excellent comment, lad, and you are both right and wrong as well.

      Clearly you are spot on about those damned kids needing to wake up and write a damned book report by hand but I’m not sure I agree about the rest. I’m not convinced that these damned college kids are actually getting any form of education at all. It seems to me it’s more about colleges lowering their standards to make money and kids “partying” it up to avoid any real work and responsibility. However, I admit I don’t have any hard evidence to back that up. Just a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach (which is right 94 per cent of the time, by the way).

      And as for ‘The Life and Times of Don Mills”…I think they’d be better off with the 1200 page version – it includes photos of my trip to Dayton back in 54 and a chapter on proper use of cufflinks.

      Good to see you Zman.

      Don

      • Mystsong permalink
        3:00 am

        It depends in the college, and to a greater extent, the student. Myself and most of my friends in my graduating class are thus far getting quite a lot from our various college experiences.

        In particular, community colleges tend to have excellent track records as far as actually learning things go. And they run significantly less than state universities.

        Speaking of, I should be studying for my psychology test…

  21. David permalink
    10:55 pm

    >>>the annual trip to see Edna Price, the neon tube swallower

    Tube swallower???? No wonder you are such a cantankerous old fart – only getting to visit the tube swallower *wink-wink* once a year?

    By the way, when is she coming to town for her next “performance”? Inquiring minds need to know.

    • 1:22 am

      Jesus, David, I think you have a tic.

      I’d have that looked at. I used to work with a lad named Gilbert Finch and he had a Hell of a facial tic. It never stopped (we all called him “Flinch” instead of Finch). Anyway, one day he was sitting at his desk typing copy when suddenly he stood up, screamed, clutched his twitching face and fell over stone cold dead.

      So, seriously, have that checked out David. They said he died of a heart attack but I swear that damned tic had a hand in it.

      As for Edna Price, her work at the sideshow ended a good 60 years ago David. If she’s still alive, and I doubt she is, I don’t imagine she’s swallowed a neon tube in a good long time.

      Thanks for visiting, David. Always good to hear from you.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • David permalink
        10:53 pm

        With all due respect Donold, I’m disappointed that you would suggest that, solely due to advanced age, Edna Price is no longer capable of performing the duties of her chosen profession. That my good sir smacks of ageism. Ridicule my tick if you wish to stoop to that distasteful level against the physically challenged but shame on you for disparaging the elderly. Of all people…never would I have anticipated that from you. This is indeed a sad day.

        • 11:34 pm

          Many thanks David,

          I appreciate the comment but would ask you to read my response once again.

          I never once indicated that Edna would be incapable of swallowing a neon tube. I simply stated that she was unlikely to have done so recently. My reasons for suggesting this are:

          A) I’m 99% sure she is dead and therefore unlikely to be interested in swallowing neon tubes

          B) Even if not dead, the World Circus Sideshow closed about 60 years ago. If Edna found work with another sideshow after that she likely retired sometime in the 1950s or early 60’s. Just as you wouldn’t expect a retired doctor to continue giving rectal exams “for kicks”, you would hardly expect Edna to continue swallowing neon tubes into her 90s simply to amuse herself or others.

          All supposition, I admit. But in all honestly, David, my remarks had nothing to do with ability. I’m sure there are many women in their 90s and beyond who are still fully able to swallow a neon tube with considerable skill and enthusiasm.

          I trust that clears matters up David. I wouldn’t want my comments to be misconstrued.

          Again, many thanks,

          Don

  22. 1:33 am

    It is indeed a sad state of affairs. In today’s world, the only way a young person can comprehend a written sentence is if the first letter of every word in the sentence is combined. For example, I could write a note to a young person that reads: “You are a stupid, fatherless child.” Said young person would tilt his or her head in a manner similar to a dog and just smile. Now, if I had rephrased the sentences to be “YAASFC,” I would drown in a sea of ignorant retorts. I agree with you that children could benefit greatly from a good book over the head. Why, my father wouldn’t hesitate to correct me with IPDs (Improvised Punishment Devices) and I’m a better man for it.

    I’ve just recently developed a blog which seeks to cure the world of stupidity. It’s a daunting task, but I know there are crusaders like yourself who are doing their part to curtail the increasing ignorance level. The site is http://iseedumb.com/ I hope you will check it out sometime and together we can do our part to ridicule the dumb, just as God intended.

    • 11:58 pm

      Many thanks Doc Brown and welcome,

      Sounds like your father did a fine job with you, lad. No wonder you ended up a Doctor.

      I look forward to visiting your blog. I fully support ending stupidity (in principle that is. I’m not about to make a financial donation or anything).

      All the best and good luck in your crusade.

      Don

  23. 2:57 am

    It’s probably tough reading when you’re illiterate.

    Dubba Tubba @ http://tubbotwins.wordpress

  24. 4:52 pm

    Very nice juxtaposition between the narrow-mindedness of a generation that fed its mind on well-crafted, carefully edited books and a wide-open-minded generation that feeds its mind on information, opinion, commentary and ideas directly from a huge variety of people from all over the world

  25. 6:25 pm

    Blogging will soon be a lost art as fewer and fewer people learn to read. I’m afraid many of today’s youth won’t get off your lawn. Not because they are rebel-rousers, but because they can’t read the “GET OFF MY LAWN!” sign. If they can’t read blogs and signs, then they can’t read books (unless the books contains pictures.)

    • 12:05 am

      Thanks Ahmnodt,

      I’m not sure I’d put blogging in the “endangered arts” category but point taken.

      And even if those damned kids can’t read the sign they know full well that they aren’t welcome on my lawn. They just do it to torment me and so that they can feel “cool.”

      We’ll see how cool they feel when they are 30 and can’t read the damned help wanted pages. I suspect they’ll end up wishing they’d spent more time with their nose in a book and less time running up my blood pressure.

      All the best,

      Don

  26. Lily Fossil permalink
    9:43 pm

    Here’s my two cents worth.

    Earlier this year I decided that the time had come to sort and clean all the books in my library, that being 2 very large floor to ceiling wooden bookshelves full of books. I was having the room painted so they all needed to be moved.

    I also thought it was a good time to cull the number of books, get rid of ones that I didn’t want and take them to the secondhand place.

    This proved to be one of the most difficult tasks because I really do hate throwing out books, but my rationale was that if I threw out half of them I wouldn’t have to clean them nor put them back on the shelves.

    It took me about 2 weeks, because each book had some kind of history attached to it but in the end I discarded 18 boxes of them. When I got to the Encyclopedia Britannicas I think I spent half the day trying to decide will they go or stay? and in the end I kept them inspite of their weightiness and the fact that I hardly ever use them now that I have the internet.
    It did give me cause to reflect on how much life has changed now in the ways we look for information and how we are entertained.

    I think there will always be books and people who love them, but I think they will become relics of the past, just as the horse drawn cart was superceded by the motor car.

    I can’t think of anything funny to say about this, because it fills me with sadness that today’s young people who don’t know the joys of reading a good book are missing out on one of the most enjoyable experiences available to humans.
    I already see that young people who spend all their time on the internet seriously lack any imagination and have no sense of adventure. They also lack the ability to detect humor or bias in the written language and as a species I think we will all be diminished because of it. In my view the Internet is a double-edged sword, but if something happens to it at least I still have enough books left on my shelves to entertain me.

    More than two cents worth,

    Lily

    • 12:16 am

      Very nicely put, Lily. Thank you.

      I agree with you entirely but especially echo your comment about the growing lack of ability to detect humor or bias. It’s very unfortunate indeed.

      Best regards and many thanks for your 2 cents.

      Don

    • 1:32 am

      I have a theory that culling a book collection actually serves no purpose.

      Firstly, as soon as you divest yourself of a book that you really thought you had no use for, you immediately have a question posed to you that requires the book you just gave away (or sold).

      Secondly, there appears to be some sort of strange physics at work when you get rid of, say, 18 boxes of books… Instead of decreasing, the collection seems to increase. Perhaps books are like goldfish… the more room they have the larger they grow.

  27. 2:13 am

    Excellent post again, Don.

    Apologies for being so late but I was up whacking the bushes. I seem to have injured myself in a rather sensitive place, but the lighting is so poor that I may have to wait till morning to see exactly where. One thing is for sure: I’m walking funnier.

    Kids these days wouldn’t know a good book if I threw it at their heads from fewer than 10 feet.

    Next thing you know, they’re on the ground bleeding and wondering exactly what this paper & “wood” thing is that hit them. They reach for their 9mms and boxcutters but I warn them that I know stuff.

    I tell them that handguns are most often used to injure close family members or worse, the gun owner. I tell them that the native boxcutter poses no harm to anyone on a plane, boat or automobile and is often more scared of you than you are of it.

    Despite my small words and peppering of youthful “slang,” my message fails to penetrate their thick skulls, although their knives and bullets soon penetrate mine.

    As I fade, I tell them that they’ve have scarred the poor boxcutter for life and their reckless use of the handgun has serious fucked the statistical tables.

    • 11:54 pm

      My goodness CLT…

      Another excellent comment that has left me impressed, confused and somewhat bewildered. I’m not sure I always understand your meaning, CLT, but your remarks always make for a ripping good read.

      Many thanks and keep it at those bushes. I’m sure that with a little perseverance, hard word and elbow grease you’ll have them whipped into shape in no time.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 3:35 am

        Most of us enjoy CLT but are never fully sure of why?

        • 4:42 am

          I’m getting that put on a t-shirt.

          That would make at least 3 or 4 times you’ve cranked out a vivid slogan, elprestouristguide.

          It’s at least as good as the “Like Elephants Mating” line.

  28. 5:31 pm

    I actually heard a kid defend not reading books thusly,

    “Turning the pages makes me tired.”

    He was texting at the time.

    • 11:59 pm

      Thank you kindly boundandgags,

      Unbelievable. Fortunately, I’ll be dead before this lad and his friends are in the seat of power. But for anyone under the age of 60 I’d strongly suggest that you start hording food, water and loading up on shot guns shells and barbed wire.

      The end is nigh and it has baggy pants, a backward baseball cap and is really, really, really stupid.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Don

  29. 12:01 am

    Dear Don,

    You are 345% correct. Those soon-to-be-frat-boys-douchbags would choose their BFF’s tweets over Krakauer, Facebook updates over Austin, and text messaging acronyms over Miriam Webster.

    Sad but true, like the great poet said,
    Frankelstache

    • 11:32 pm

      Nice to see you Frankelstache,

      I was aiming for 350% but glad to see I managed to get close. Keep reading lad. As long as there are a few decent young folks like yourself out there I still have hope (faint though it might be).

      All the best,

      Don

      p.s. I hope we Mungo the dog is doing well.

  30. Ravikant permalink
    4:52 pm

    Hello Sir.
    You are right about today’s young generation not at all reading books. Well, to begin with, even the internet is a bit responsible in a way too, but then you can’t blame the internet. It’s the young dimwits who are straying away from the very books of the academic syllabus, leave alone any other book. That explains why some can’t do well in school and college. I myself don’t read much books but I do read my syllabus books and moreover, enjoy reading them. But apart from my books, I read and follow online what is going on in science today, mainly physics and robotics. Atleast that is informative. Hell, many don’t even read newspapers, let alone books. That perhaps explains why they are so unaware of the current state of affairs in the world. Damn, I can go on and on about this. This is getting sadder every passing day such that a day will come when books will be counted as ‘archaic’ by stupid young people.

    • 11:39 pm

      Hello Ravikant,

      Well stated once again lad. And you raise a fine point with respect to the newspaper. Even if you have no damned interest in a good book, at least pick up the newspaper once in a while and try to understand what the Hell is going on in the world. It’s amazing to me the number of young people who’s knowledge of current events is limited to the latest news from Entertainment Tonight.

      I’m not surprised to learn you’ve an interest in the sciences lad. You’ve always struck me as the logical sort with a good, rational head on your shoulders. I could hold my own in mathmatics but the sciences and I were never a good match.

      All the best, Ravikant.

      Don

  31. abbie hales permalink
    6:49 pm

    I was doing research on young people today for homework when i came accross your article. I felt very hurt and upset that this is the image people have projected of us ‘young people’ as we are all not alike. I like nothing more than sitting down and reading a good book just as much as anyone else, but by reading this i feel very disheartned by the prospect of people thinking that we are going to ruin the nation. If this is the image people have got of all young people just to by scapegoating from the things they may read or see in the newspaper, then they may wont to invest some time in perhaps looking closer and finding that we are all not bad but are good behaving law abiding people like you, so maybe one time perhaps talk to us and find we will talk back nicely back and to not be afraid and cower away as i am just as afraid as you about all the trouble makers out there and am always scared about what may happen.
    All i am asking is that you understand that we are not the same and we find it sad when you think we are.
    Thank you, many regards.

    • 11:49 pm

      Many thanks young Abbie and good luck with your assignment.

      If you’re going to use blogs as research materials, my only caution would be to try to make sure you read with critical eye and not take everything at face value.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

      • Lily Fossil permalink
        12:57 am

        Donald,

        My case in point re young people failing to detect humour.

        Lily

  32. 11:08 pm

    Hey! Looks like you’ve been back for awhile and just thought I’d add my two cents.

    The problem with young folks today is they have so may ways to entertain themselves that it must be difficult for them to decide which one to do next. They have video games, Twitter, Facebook,something called Kindle,texting,email,American Idol and the choices go on.

    Back when I was a kid i had a one speed bike, my cherished Tonka truck and Sky King on Saturday mornings at 11:00 AM, and beyond those, entertained myself with searching for pollywogs, climbing tress, and anything else in the world that was free. Everything these spawns today costs money and they view the ones that cost the most as the best.

    I feel sorry for them.

    Hey? How you coming on that housekeeper liquor thing?

    • 12:03 am

      Nice to see you back Russellingalong,

      I have to be honest with you lad, I’m not sure where we left off with “the case of Hattie and the mysterious missing rye.”

      I did tell you I caught her in the act right? After setting a rather elaborate trap? And that after some tears we were able to make amends? I wrote all about it in some comment ages ago. She never confessed to stealing my socks but I decided not to pursue that one. Anyway, it turns out she was just kind of low and was going through a rough patch. Guess washing my dishes and folding my underpants wasn’t exactly how she saw herself ending up.

      Well, since our little talk things have been going damned well. Hattie is still with me 3 days a week but now instead of pilfering my rye I invite her to join me for a glass after her shift. We generally chat for a half hour or so before she needs to go catch her bus. It’s damned nice, actually. I think we’ve learned a lot about each other.

      And my rye’s lasting longer too.

      Now, I’m not sure if you have an appetite for another mystery but lately my next door neighbour has been slipping out into his backyard late at night and furiously digging a hole. It must be 5 feet deep for Christ’s sake. I see him out there at 3 in the morning in his pyjamas, a cigarette dangling from his mouth and dirt flying through the air. What the Hell do you think Russellingalong?

  33. 1:53 am

    Glad to find out that you and Hattie are getting along. Always better to communicate with those that are close on a regular basis.

    As to the flyin’ dirt?

    Not sure.

    How about asking him?

  34. 6:11 am

    why read books when we have sparknotes.com summarize them for us?
    …now somebody needs to invest time into summarizing sparknotes’ summaries for us.

    • 9:16 pm

      Thanks Kyle,

      I’d never heard of sparknotes.com and decided to take a quick look. Nice to see that you can take a fine book, chop it into bits, provide a half assed summary and still have room to cram all sorts of advertizing in as well.

      And I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is looking at ways to shorten it up. Lord of the Flies in 140 characters can’t be too far off on the horizon.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 10:42 am

        Your wish is my command, wise sir:

        Kids turn feral on desert island and pick on the fat kid, rescued by boat, in what Robert McKee would call a ‘deus ex machina’ cheat ending.

  35. 5:41 pm

    You’re hilarious! I’m so glad I found your blog.

    • 12:55 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! Don is great! He hits the nail on the head, and so damn funny while he does it!

      He says so many things I’d scarcely have the nerve to repeat, much less write myself.

      Love it!
      Sandy

    • 9:17 pm

      Thank you kindly Zoom,

      I’m grateful for the kind words and glad you found the blog as well. Hope to hear from you again.

      All the best,

  36. downcastmysoul permalink
    3:59 am

    It’s still a long time until Sunday…need a new post.

  37. 12:20 pm

    Exactly right, Don. As I’ve been wont to say, “The truth is too tedious to tweet.”

    Not to mention how painful and/or foreign the concept of logic has become for most folks under 30.

    • 9:20 pm

      Nice to see you again Joan of Argghh,

      I hope you don’t object but I suspect I’ll be borrowing your saying now and again.

      I trust you’re well. Thanks for visiting.

      Don

  38. 9:43 pm

    Oh, my. As a writer, I had fallen back on my daily writing once I had discovered your blog. I, too, had to cut back on reading blogs at the same time you cut back on delivering them. It’s almost as if you sensed my addiction.

    All this came at a time you posted about the very subject that is very near and dear to me–fewer readers. Your posts always touch upon the experience I had in raising a teenager, now you touched upon my career as well. It is a sad state of affairs that reading must compete with so many other forms of entertainment.

    The “new illiteracy” has plagued us all. No longer are we safe with just a “No Solicitation” on our door; they don’t know what that big words means. I’m not talking Brownie scouts selling cookies either. I’m talking teenagers selling magazines. They are selling the very brand of entertainment that they know the least.

    I had to write my own sign that says “Don’t try to sell me no stuff”. That worked.

    I’m sorry if I’ve offended the well-read young person. This isn’t about you so relax and open a book. But the very type of young person your post needs to reach isn’t likely to be reading your blog. Hmmm … catch 22.

    • 7:32 pm

      Many thanks Tricia for the comment,

      I had been wondering why my “No damned soliciting” sign didn’t seem to be getting the respect it deserved and now I have my answer. I’ll put crayon to paper immediately and prepare my own “don’t try to sell me no stuff” sign right away.

      Nice of you to visit and thanks for the tip.

      Don

  39. Lily Fossil permalink
    12:05 am

    Dear Donald,

    I have been reading a report from Boston that a school there has discarded all 20,000 books from its Library.

    This spells the death knell for our society, Mr Mills and the end of civilization as we know it.

    I am reminded of this quote from the early 19th Century German Poet, Heinrich Heine:

    “Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”

    Ominously,

    Lily

    • 7:34 pm

      Many thanks Lily,

      Perhaps the school will replace the books with Mp3 players, PSPs and god damned game boys. They likely suspect that keeping young people “engaged” is more important than teaching them anything.

      Regards,

      Don

      • 4:10 am

        I couldn’t help but give a little more (disturbing) information on the subject brought up by Madame Fossil.

        When hearing a story about libraries shutting down, my first thought is how sad it is. However, when I think further about what might be happening, it becomes very disheartening to me. How many books are gone forever due to the destruction of those 20,000? Did someone go through each book and ensure that there were other copies somewhere in the world? I seriously doubt it. This is like the NASA workers who recorded over the moon landing footage. We are losing something that may be completely irreplaceable. That saddens me greatly.

        To further aggravate things, Google has been working on a project which would involve them scanning a copy of every book into their systems. This is a brilliant idea. Imagine being able to search every book known to man from the comfort of your home! In my mind, this is exactly why the Internet was built. However, Google is being hindered at every turn by people who accuse them of things that are not true. The founder of Google took the stance that “no one else was doing it, so we did.” While the legal battles are waged, books are lost forever. It may be that future generations won’t even have books to read even if they wanted to.

        Doc Brown

        PS I’m in the middle of Atlas Shrugged right now and I must say it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I encourage anyone who reads this, to read Atlas Shrugged. You won’t be disappointed.

        • downcastmysoul permalink
          8:12 pm

          It took me all of last summer to read Atlas Shrugged and it was life changing, both that and the Fountainhead. All young people should read these books. The main thing I got out of the books is to be yourself and never follow the crowd even if it may cost you. Also, that the work you love is rewarding and having work be your life (if it is) is not bad. Also, the fact that being “nice” is not being “good” and that people should know the difference.

          The books’ atheism and fly off the wing conservatism were too much even though I agree there are places (in business) the govt should butt out of. I’m more of a moral (religious) conservative and a social liberal (in terms of helping the poor).

  40. 2:49 am

    Don,

    I’ll be sending you a bumper sticker that I’ve had in my glove box since 1987 which reads: “Do the Dewey”. Something tells me it will bring you great joy.

    Yours in ‘Kindles kick ass’,
    Kelsey

    • 7:38 pm

      Nice to see you Kelsey,

      I hope you’ve been well. It’s nice to have you back.

      And I’d be very grateful for the bumper sticker. I’d be proud to display it on the rear bumper of my Buick LeSabre along with my other bumper sticker that says “I know my damned indicator is still on.”

      And thanks, Kelsey. Your comment has given me an idea for a future post and product from Donco. Senior Citizen bumper stickers. I’m going to start working on it immediately.

      Many thanks

      Don

  41. 4:39 pm

    I couldn’t agree more Donald. The newfangled technology of today is destroying the very fabric of our countries intelligence. It’s given all of these kids ADD or ADHD or some other God damn set of initials. I grew up with books. I played sports everyday all day, and read books all night every night. These little bastards are always saying that they’re bored. I was never bored a day in my life. Because I had books. Sports and books. Another great post!!

    • 11:28 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      Damn well said, lad. I’ve always maintained that decent physical activity and a proper amount of reading are good foundation for any young person. No one ever had the nerve to try any of this “I’m bored” nonsense in my day.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Don

  42. Jacob permalink
    5:56 pm

    What about Dan Brown’s newest drivel which has sold a few million copies world-wide thus far.

    Is reading not still reading, despite the level of intelligence required to discover the pot of gold (located right at the end in bold letters, I’m sure)?

    Kind regards,

    Jacob

    • 11:34 pm

      Nice to hear from you Jacob,

      I’ve never read anything by this Dan Brown character but based on what I see there is little evidence that young people are buying his (or anyone else’s) books.

      I do see them reading a Hell of a lot of text messages but I don’t consider that to be real “reading.” Same with graphic novels and the like. To me, a decent read is a 400 page book with real sentences, paragraphs, punctuation and a damned decent plot. It requires an investment of time and energy.

      Kind regards to you as well, Jacob. Always good to have you stop in.

      Don

  43. Hydrangea permalink
    5:34 am

    The book I am reading right now is so heavy, it gives me carpal tunnel if I hold it too long. About 900 pages long.

    There’s nothing like actual paper pages to turn.

    And I’ll tell you, Don, I think the phrase “tweet-fart” is sheer brilliance. That’s what it is.

    Best wishes,

    Hydrangea

    • 2:35 am

      Nice to hear from you Hydrangea,

      I fully agree on the value of real, paper pages. There is no substitute.

      I’ve given up on the 900 pagers though. By the time you get those fellows into large print you’re looking at 40 lbs of book.

      Many thanks for visiting and for the kind words.

      Don

  44. downcastmysoul permalink
    6:19 pm

    It took me all of last summer to read “Atlas Shrugged” but I did it. It was over 1000 pages long. The book really looked bad after I was finally done having schlepped it all over town.

    • 2:36 am

      Well done downcastmysoul,

      I’ve never read any Ayn Rand. My tastes are pretty unsophisticated I’m afraid.

      All the best

      Don

      • downcastmysoul permalink
        3:10 am

        She is pretty unsophisticated. Her message is very clear and simple. I agree with some of it even though she is so right wing she fell off and she does not believe in God.

  45. lostsouls permalink
    1:51 am

    What are you talking about? Young people are always reading books from the library, they are reading the hard cover ones too. Please stop making them look bad and stop making stereotypes. You just do not know the millions of them living in the whole world. If you do and all of them do not read, then comment back. The problem with you is stereotyping. I only mean you individually not all of old people because I do not want to stereotype a group of people. There are a lot of old people who appreciate what we do and we do not care about some old, useless man, who does not have anything better to do than stereotyping. Again, if you know the millions of young people around the world, comment back. COWARD!

    • 2:23 am

      Many thanks Lostsouls,

      Quite the impassioned plea there young lady. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Just to be clear, I believe I am making generalizations…not stereotypes. True, my generalizations feed into stereotypes but it is an important distinction. In fact, you could say that the generalizations I make are almost stereotypical of senior citizens but that would likely lead us into a whole different conversation.

      So, just to be clear. YES, I know every damned young person on earth. I’m omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. It’s easy, I have a bus pass and a lot of time on my hands.

      Be assured that any comment I make is based on the most current research available and readily verifiable in numerous scholarly publications.

      And I hate to burst your damned bubble but I also know for a fact that there isn’t a single damned person on this planet over the age of 50 that appreciates anything to do with young people.

      We have secret meetings where we talk about how much we detest the young and devise plans to thwart you at every turn. Sure, some of us may act like we appreciate you but that’s only so we can inflitrate your ranks and learn valuable secrets that we can use against you.

      Sorry, I got a little carried away.

      Look, I’m sure you’re a decent kid. Lighten the Hell up and read a book.

      Sincerely,

      Don Mills

    • 7:17 pm

      Ha! This is more like it.

      A young ‘un with backbone.

      It gives you something to hold onto after you’ve spit-roast the whining little buggers, and fancy a bit of oik-on-the-bone.

      By the way….Is stereotyping when you use both hands at the same time?

      • 7:29 pm

        Careful Nobbly,

        I fear we may have said too much already. We don’t want to alert them to our plans.

  46. Kenni permalink
    8:53 pm

    Very true. Half of my friends can’t read a book to save their lives! It’s a wonder they didn’t fail English class by now. I blame the Internet, TV, video games, cell phones (what is with them? touch screen? internet access? I just want to be able to call somebody!), etc.
    Books are a wonderful thing and a joy to read. A much better use of your time than sending 10,000 texts a minute and burning your parents’ money on phone bills.

    P.S. Have you ever read the book called the “Kite Runner”? If you haven’t, it’s a great book and I strongly recommend it.

    • 11:07 pm

      Many thanks Kenni,

      A damned sensible comment and I appreciate your sharing it with me. I have to admit I’ve never heard of a book called “The Kite Runner” but the title sounds promising. I enjoy box kites tremendously. If they have it in large print at the local library I’ll be sure to pick it up.

      Thanks for the recommendation.

      Best regards,

      Don

  47. 8:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. My sister is 17 and has never read a textbook, novel or magazine in her life. How she gets through school with decent grades is beyond me. What is the world coming to?!

  48. 3:03 am

    Entertaining and insightful.

    I disagree on the comment that Wikipedia is half-assed though.

    I read somewhere that Wikipedia has less errors than the Encyclopedia Britannica. Something like 4 errors for every thousand articles as opposed to 6 per thousand in the Encyclopedia. Plus Wikipedia has the advantage of being updated almost instantly.

  49. 4:07 am

    I tend to read a lot, more than the young people around me. I hope I could just afford more books.

  50. 4:40 am

    keep up the good work i enjoyed reading your blog….

  51. Miranda permalink
    2:55 am

    Ever heard “All generalizations are false?” -Mark Twain
    who are you to say? how do you know that those kids you’ve been shouting menacingly at weren’t on the way to a library to reserve a copy of “war and peace”? did you pause in your useless tiride about our lazieness to ask? to say we don’t read books to our generation is like saying to yours “hey? have you read the latest cave drawing? this one had dinosaurs!” we simply are progressing to quickly with technology to focus our attentions on books, I have to agree that our genration should read more but I was insulted to hear that we dont read at all, I just finshed reading Moby Dick…for a second time.

    • 11:06 pm

      Moby Dick, eh?

      Well, I suppose that some background knowledge of STDs can only be a good thing, and be of benefit to you in the long run.

  52. Allison Dollar permalink
    7:13 pm

    I just found this blog and I love it! I’m over here laughing at everything, reading through all the comments and just having a great time.

    As an avid reader, this post is definitely my favorite. Even at my young age I can’t understand why people around me will not read. Or, my favorite, why people around me ask why I still do! Of course, they also don’t understand why I don’t need wikipedia or google open and in front of me when I’m having a discussion! Oh, and heaven forbid they see my library. A young person with more than just fantasy and classics? The horror!!

    I’m just so thankful for whatever my parents did that fed my love for books. Hmm, books might have been the one thing they didn’t hit me with! Ha!

    Great, amusing blog!
    Allison

  53. Delorfinde permalink
    7:25 pm

    *pleading voice* But what about the young people who WRITE books? I mean, sure, they’re not always brilliant … but they are books …

  54. 9:36 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I entirely understand your frustrations. As a sixteen year old who loves to read I’d be devastated if we go to the point to where we are “nothing more than a nation of illiterate, tweet-farting morons.” Mostly because I still don’t understand twitter and partly because if that happens, I’d have to be dead first. Why? Because I own a hard-cover copy of the Grapes of Wrath and what I’ve read of it, I love it. But I keep getting distracted by all the other books in my room… Er. I need to stop reading six or more books at the same time.

    Anyway, I will do what I can to keep this nation literate and interested in what is in books. Besides, if I expect to be an author, I’ve got to have an audience!

    Sincerely,

    Faith

  55. TheBlueMorpho permalink
    11:21 pm

    I’m a teen, and I read tons of books! I love to read. In fact, I never plan on buying one of those Kindle things. The beauty of reading is going to a book store or a library and picking out a book. Looking at the cover, flipping the pages. Not reading it off a screen or listening to it on a disk. I’ve been reading since I was old enough to read, and thank Heavens I did read because I wouldnt have gotten this far if I didnt.

  56. 4:40 pm

    Reading this made me jealous. I wish I lived in the era where you weren’t discriminated or called a nerd just for enjoying books.

  57. Sam747 permalink
    12:28 am

    Those even in high learning institution didnt read anymore, they read to passing the marks.

  58. 1:34 am

    Many young people will not have the skills necessary to defend themselves because they do not read hence they cannot write. It is shameful. No dreams, no vision, no imagination.

  59. Spice permalink
    10:56 pm

    THANK YOU!!! You are so right. Every night before bed I read to my son. I want him to love reading, to have the magical adventures that await him on each turn of the page. I use to go to the library regulary, I knew the librarians by their names.

    Sadly that has been lost due to moving so much. I was even rereading books that stocked my bookshelf just to have something to read.

    I now have a ereader, and am going through books like chocolate. I LOVE reading, its an escape.

    My one question is what happen to the dictionary for looking up words you didn’t know what they meant or how to use it correctly.

  60. Cole permalink
    1:08 am

    Dear Sir,

    I can’t stand it when my fellow classmates say reading is “gay”. Then of course I will tell them to read and get a proper vocabulary. It was merely a simple logical and rather astute comment. As always they will argue back that it is a waste of time to read a book.

  61. Cricket Lee permalink
    1:10 pm

    True that. I’d like to thank you for this extremely well-written read, sir. I find the same predicament in my generation as well.

    It must be amusing to have you as a grandfather. For some reason, your writing style reminds me of Holden Caulfield.

  62. Kat permalink
    2:06 am

    My bookshelf is constantly overflowing at the amount of books in it. I’m only 17 but I read all the time. I have to leave books in my backpack because I’ll finish them in a few hours and not have anything left for school the next day. And yet there are some kids in my classes who say, “I don’t read.” Are you serious? How the hell do you not read books? You can learn marvellous things from books, and they’d know that if they’d get off the video games, facebook, and whatever else and read something.

  63. Lucy permalink
    4:52 am

    I LOVE BOOKS. For a long time at school they were my only friends and my sanctuary. They still are a great source of comfort to me. As for research, I only use the internet as an absolute final resort, and even then only government or organisation websites. Maths I was never good at, I admit, but science, English and social science were my best. If I wasn’t reading I was writing -still do – and the sad thing was, one parent would lecture me for reading too much, claiming it’s antisocial etc etc. Is it possible to read too much? It’s the same for when I was studying for a big exam: antisocial, waste of time, etc. Books are better than the internet any day, and I didn’t have a clue how to text message until my mother taught me. I have boxes of books packed away. I got teased at school for reading at luch time in the library, for being a ‘nerd’ etc, but they soon stopped when I refused to help them with their assignments because they wouldn’t listen in class. I understand reading isn’t appealing to everybody, but if a person likes to read leave them alone and encourage reading in young people regardless. They might actually gain a vocabulary that extends further than a bunch of meaningless swear words and terrible grammar.

  64. elindielforeststar permalink
    9:01 pm

    My dear sir,

    First of all, allow me the privilege to declare how I love reading your blog, though I only discovered it a half hour ago. Your wit, humor, and satire are all too amusing, and it may garner me from strange looks from family members as I roar with laughter… A bit of an exaggeration…chuckling is all I usually do when it comes to mirth.

    I’ve been raised without a television, and I’ve been homeschooled until this previous year when I graduated. On average, I would agree that you are right how youngsters don’t appreciate books these days. When I went to Europe with five public school students, I was the only one who brought a few books. I was glad that I did, because while they listened to their obnoxious music on their i-phones, or whatever they’re called, or just sat twiddling their thumbs on the overnight and day trains, I was reading about World War II and how language developed as well as how the body works.
    I love books, and I have been collecting antiquarian volumes for the past couple years. My two bookcases that I am allotted are crammed full of books. *sigh*

    Still, I shall admit that the internet has its uses. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to research the best medications and equipment for my Type I (big difference from type II, folks!) diabetes. Going to lamebrain doctors that I’ve seen in the past haven’t been any help, and I prefer to do the research myself. ]

    Keeping on ticking and writing!

    A new follower.

  65. 5:21 pm

    you got a point the people at my school hardly ever pick up a book im basically the only one that carries on the tradition of reading

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  1. God Damned Young People Never Crack A Book « The Problem with … | EducatorsArea.Com
  2. Food for Thought-less « Bearman Cartoons
  3. Ceasar Rian: What’s Wrong With the Young People of Today « Adventures In Writing

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