In recent years, I haven’t taken as much time to sit down and read good books as I once had. So this summer, I’ve tried to do some reading.
I recently finished reading books about Michael Oher, the football player of “The Blind Side” fame, and former Major League baseball player Roger Maris, whose 61 home runs in 1961 broke Babe Ruth’s single-season record. Maris was one of my first baseball heroes because, like him, I bat lefty and throw righty.
Sometimes, I’m so busy writing that I don’t want to spend a lot of time reading. So I’m a binge reader. I’ll read three, four or five books in a few weeks — and then not read another book for several months. The summer is usually when I find the most time to read.
As an elementary school student, I developed a love for reading biographies of famous athletes. I believe reading those first books about Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Knute Rockne and others helped steer me toward being a sports writer.
The first sports biography I bought was John Devaney’s “The Baseball Life of Mickey Mantle.” I purchased it through the Weekly Reader’s Scholastic Book Club.
That was one of at least a half-dozen books on him that I’ve bought and read. I’m reading another biography, Jane Leavy’s “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood.”
I once got in trouble in a high school algebra class for reading a book about Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson. I should have been paying attention in class, but baseball was always more interesting than trying to solve for x.
Today we can read books on our electronic devices. We don’t need to go to the library to check out the latest must-read.
However, I still prefer to take a book in hand and get comfortable in my favorite chair as I flip the pages and transport to another time and place.
My personal library is scattered in various bookshelves and boxes. I prefer sports biographies and books that help me grow in my Christian faith.
I have never been to China, but I traveled there in my mind as I read a biography about Bill Wallace, a missionary killed by the Communist government in China more than 60 years ago.
I never saw Babe Ruth swing a baseball bat, or witnessed a young Vince Lombardi play football at Fordham University, but I can almost hear the crowds roar for these sport giants. Just as summer is a good time for boys and girls to exercise their bodies, it also can be a good time to exercise their minds.
No matter what your interest is, you can find a book on that subject — and you don’t have to wait for your favorite program to come on television.
Several years ago there was a television public service announcement that stressed, “Reading is Fundamental.” Reading also is fun. Have you read any good books lately?
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.