…and that doesn’t even even include the table of contents, introduction, acknowledgements, index, or the pages just inside the cover that tell me where the book was published. I’m just counting the pages of actual importance.
In reality, this book has more than 778. I’ll have an official number for you by the end of this post. My guess is there are 801 pages.
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW.
What book am I talking about? Keep reading.
All throughout high school I heard the phrase “lifelong learner” a bunch of times. That is what they told us (the students) we should be.
But like all phrases you hear too many times, it lost all meaning.
I knew what it meant. It meant that we learn for our entire life. Okay. Why is it being drilled into us?
Then I thought, hold on, that’s a lie. After high school I have four years of school in a post-secondary institution and then that’s it! I’ll be done! I’ll be free! No more textbooks with words that I have to memorize. No more learning.
I was naive. Like I said, the phrase was worn out and was nothing more than fifteen letters with a space after the first eight.
It wasn’t until I finished those four years at a post-secondary institution that I realized what being a “lifelong learner” really meant.
It meant the days of information being fed to me at school were done. No one was going to teach me new things anymore. I had no more classrooms or lecture halls to go to where they would give me new information to learn.
I had to seek this new information on my own. I’m out of school, but the learning can’t stop.
So I made it my goal to learn.
I told myself that I would start to read
Every night before bed, that’s what I do for about an hour. It’s quickly becoming my favourite part of the day. Is that cheesy?
Fiction books interested me when I was a kid. I read the entire A Series of Unfortunate Events series. Correction, no I didn’t. I just looked it up and found out I only read ten of the thirteen novels. Wow. I didn’t even know there were three more. Those books still stare at me from a shelf in my bedroom.
I wasn’t really into the Harry Potter books. They just looked so long and there were too many small words on each page. I just couldn’t do it.
Yeah, I was that kid who judged a book by it’s cover, it’s width, and the size of it’s words. Is that a sin? I don’t think so. If it’s a good book, they’ll put a good cover on it. That’s always been my theory, anyways.
Who would put an ugly or dull cover on a really good book? Probably the people who thought of the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I mean, seriously.
I read the first Harry Potter novel in Grade Five because it was assigned to the class. I read the book, but made sure I watched the movie, too.
In Grade Six, I read the second Harry Potter novel for a book report. I didn’t finish the book. I still haven’t finished the book. Again, I saw the movie. And I’m pretty sure my Mom helped me with that assignment. She must’ve. I didn’t finish the book!
When I was a kid, my Mom took me to the library to take out books. I always clung to the mystery novels, for some reason.
As I got older, the only books I was reading were the ones assigned in school. I didn’t have any interest in “extra work.” That’s how I saw it. Anything I do outside of school is “extra.” I don’t need to fill my mind with extra.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a very good memory when it comes to fiction books, or movies, or television shows for that matter. I have a great memory with life events, though. You know, real moments.
It might be bad to say, but I have a hard time remembering the plots and characters of books I had to read in school. I knew everything about the book, at the time. But once we moved on to the next one, so did my memory, I guess.
I said the same applies with movies and television shows. I’ve watched a bunch of television series. Let’s just say, I definitely need to watch the “last time on ____” part at the beginning of the episode, for a refresher.
I watched all five seasons of Breaking Bad last year. If you sat me down right now and gave me a quiz on it, I would probably fail. As I write this, I’m having a hard time remembering the names of secondary characters. Oh man.
As for movies, I don’t watch many movies. I don’t have much interest in them. I’m more of a sports documentary kind of guy.
Which brings me back to books.
Non-fiction books are now my book of choice. Specifically, non-fiction books relating to sports. I’ve always hated athlete interviews. They don’t say anything. They can’t say anything. In books, however, they can open up. So, too, can media personalities.
I’ve read three books this year and I’m just starting my fourth. The first one was called Cornered by Ron MacLean. Of course, it’s only fitting the second book I read was by his TV companion, Don Cherry, called Straight Up and Personal.
The third book, which I just finished the other day, was by former NHL goalie, Clint Malarchuk. It’s called, The Crazy Game. It was a gut-wrenching memoir where Malarchuk talked very openly about his struggle with depression. He put a bullet in his head and lived to tell the tale. The bullet is still in his head.
I realize these books aren’t really about learning a specific thing. It’s not like I’m reading about geography, or history, or mathematics.
I’m reading about people and their experiences. In doing so, I’m able to relate to them. Many times, I can’t relate to them. That is where the “learning” comes into play, or at least that’s how I see it.
I’m able to see the world through someone else’s perspective and I think that’s important.
Before reading Don Cherry’s book, I was worried. I thought, “Here we go. They will probably edit this thing to make it sound like a book, and less like Don Cherry.” That wasn’t the case at all. I felt like I was listening to Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner.
His voice came through clearly; I was glad.
I’ve always enjoyed reading stories (blog, articles, books, or otherwise) that seem like the author is talking to me. Anything else just seems like a textbook from school.
I want textbooks from life. I want the raw thoughts of the author. Forget about wording. Put your thoughts on paper and let me read them.
That’s the approach I’ve taken to my blog. Read my words as if I’m standing in front of you, saying them to your face.
Of course, this directness isn’t possible in fiction books. I just want to make that clear, so you know that I know that.
Finally, you’re about to find out what book I was talking about in the title and opening paragraph.
The book I just started reading is about the inside world of ESPN. I’ve always had an interest in how the media handles sport. The book is pretty thick, but I think I can manage. If I were younger, and still in school, I’d say there was no chance I would read a book this long.
For the record, the book is called Those Guys Have All The Fun, and has a good looking cover!
Now, I understand why people read fiction and how they just get lost in a good novel. I think that’s great. I could probably learn some things through that genre, too. But that’s not where my interests lie right now.
Right now, I prefer non-fiction. It’s like I’m picking someone else’s brain and learning from their experiences.
Hey, if I keep reading novels, maybe I’ll be that “lifelong learner” I was told I should be.
This reading thing is pretty cool. You should try it sometime.
Okay, I promised it. Here it is. The official number of pages is 816. I’ve read 5 pages. What have I gotten myself into…?