Toward Understanding

Benjamin Franklin educated himself with a thirst for extensive reading, establishing reading “clubs” for like minded others, and was the instrumental force behind organizing the Philadelphia library even before the War for Independence. Franklin, one of the most respected men in the American colonies and Great Britain during the colonial period, proved time a again the possibility for men to improve themselves outside a formal education through reading and study. Franklin’s efforts on his own behalf elevated him to become ‘the’ sought after voice of reason and intellect, even while others became notable leaders. (Read “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”, available free on Amazon.com)

The knowledge to be gained from reading works of all sorts is without limitation. New electronic devices and book publication into e-book formats make it now possible for anyone to build a massive library without the space necessary to hold hard-copies. It is not necessary to buy an e-reader or tablet, most sites offering free downloadable reading applications for personal computers and laptops. Sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony Bookstore, Diesel, Kobo, Smashwords, and many other Internet locations make it simple for the average person to improve foundational knowledge for little or no major cost. Masterworks and classic books by the dozen are available free on these sites. Too, one can purchase recent fiction and non-fiction books at a very low cost when compared with the hard copy counterpart. Nevertheless, there are those who remain infatuated with a volume held in their hand and later retired to a bookshelf.

A most difficult topic for most folks, for example, lies in religious faith. A reader can discover one proof of the Deity simply by reading John Fiske’s “Through Nature to God”. Fiske, a renowned philosopher (1849-1901) is responsible for a number of historically significant works, including “The War of Independence”, chronicling many back stories and a significant tracing of the birth of the United States. Fiske is only one author exploring topics with solid thoughtfulness, thereby helping others build a more complete understanding and knowledge. There are many writers who do the same.

Fiction, too, can subconsciously provide the reader with an improved working vocabulary, while entertaining with human romance, adventure, and action scenes. While most fiction is not “the great American novel”, popular books break the monotony of the work day and give us pause, an escape to another world.

Those of us who write fiction, like “Danny Boy Stories” (http://www.dannyboystories.com), do so to give others entertainment for a difficult time in our lives. Try a new book today!

220px-John_FiskeJohn Fiske

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