If you research the term ‘Reader’ you will find in the United Kingdom, the title of Reader denotes an appointment for a senior academic. The academic title can be Professor Ordinarius or Extraordinarius.
I am no academic; however, I am a Reader. I capitalize the title, for I find there are not as many Readers as there once were. Evidence of this can be found at the local library. Despite the traditional function of this fine institution, now when I step through those doors, I find the majority of the patrons therein, to be concentrated at the computer banks, perusing the internet; or at the video shelves.
Oh yes. The constant mind-numbing, passive observance of movies, internet and video gaming is so much healthier for young minds than reading. This must be true, or why would parents and institutions condone such things?
Never do I find youngsters gathered at the science fiction shelves looking for the latest artist, browsing for the newest adventure of Adams or Heinlein. Or even Rowlings for that matter.
Today, the act of reading a book is extraordinary and I read at minimum, fifty per year. Hence the name and title.
To answer more fully the question of who is Professor Extraordinarius.
A character, if you will, created for the not so serious discussion of promoting and disseminating literacy, intelligence and ideas.
I suspect I am older than the average Internet user; however, I have some knowledge in the use of a computer and this type of system. I took lessons in the use of E-mail programs and I know how to use an internet browser, so I am not a complete dunce in this endeavor.
Personal details I shall leave out for now. The reader will know me through this column. I will give you this: I am a curmudgeon and have little tolerance for the intellectual sloth. If you expect to participate in a discussion do your homework, or you may be publicly humiliated.
I am not concerned with the business of book publishing as I am in the decline of intelligence, common sense and wisdom. I understand that a column written once a month may have no effect in this, but one can always retain some optimism in this regard.
Nevertheless, I have been asked by the author of this publication to write a monthly column about my reading adventures. Despite my inability at fending her off over the past few months, I did negotiate a reasonable agreement. I will write about materials I read, if I am allowed the liberty to comment about the nature of a literary life today and throw in a few comments about our social environment.
She has agreed and here I am.
The first Reading Railroad posting will begin the second week in October.
Some stats on Professor Ex…
Born in Sacramento, California; November 30th, 1921 (currently 91 yrs. old)
He loves German chocolate, puppies (as long as he doesn’t have to care for them) and taking long walks on autumn days.