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Sadly, reading books has fallen in popularity over recent decades. The proliferation of television sets into virtually every household dealt a severe blow to the book industry. Preferring to be fed information rather than seeking it out made television an easy choice. Compared to a well-written book, television presentations whether for information or entertainment - are like a poor cousin in need of clothing. The need to continually stimulate audience interest, and due to severe restrictions on allotted time, television always lacks the depth found in good books. While I do read works of fiction, my preference has long been for books that offer real information on serious topics. Subjects such as history, environment/climate, politics and economics dominate my reading time, with various other topics thinly spread among them. I keep most of the books that I read and often re-read them in whole or in part. Some of the best I have read numerous times. Often, on re-reading a book, I come across an idea or statement that literally jumps off the page even though I may have whisked past it in the initial reading. Wanting to easily relocate these gems, I often highlight them with a pen or other device. Given the human facility for forgetting, it is wise to re-read the good books on a regular basis. Solid information does not diminish with age. Even books addressing specific issues that may have receded in importance are worth reading again if only to determine how well they have withstood the passage of time. One of my favourite writers has a great knack of injecting wry humour into the direst of situations. This relieves stress and drives home the message at the same time. In a book in which he has described what to expect as our civilization declines (all civilizations do), he quotes a line from a Bob Dylan song: “You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing”. That is his wry way of telling us that official proclamations of everything being okay may be fallible. Even good books of fiction are worthy of re-reading. Fictitious stories may be infused with sound observations or advice. Gems are often found in unexpected places. Orland Kennedy Pleasant Valley