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Reading Your Way Through Retirement by guest blogger - Jeanette Wojcik

Posted: July 18, 2022, 12:12PM

We have a guest blogger!  Thanks to Jeanette Wojcik, retired Executive Director of Faith in Action Caregivers, Inc.


So often these days we hear about people having a Bucket List of things they want to do or places they want to go.  I have a Bucket List, too.  However, my list is made up of the books I want to read.

I've always loved reading.  As a child, I would rather read a book than practice the piano.  My mother had to sit next to the piano to make sure I practiced a half hour each day  As soon as I was done, I went to find a book to read!

I worked my way through all of our Golden Books multiple times.  My favorite book was The Bumpety, Bumpety School Bus. As I got older, I moved on to collections of stories like the Grimm Brothers.  In junior high, I discovered the Nancy Drew books in the school library and read all of them.  One of my uncles loaned me a copy of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and I became a fan of Hemingway.  And then, there was college where I had to read textbooks.  From there I went to graduate school and found myself reading four or five books a week (that were no less than 500 pages each) but not for pleasure.  For the next forty years, I read professional books in my career field.  Once in a while, I was able to read a "regular" book.  I think our local library would get tired of my calling to renew a book.

Now I've entered retirement.  I got a journal and started recording books I've read in retirement.  I started by asking friends what they were reading so I tried a little of everything.  One friend read romance novels because she said she doesn't have to think about anything.  Another friend was reading science fiction.  Yet another was reading mysteries that bordered on scary.  None of these were for me.  I did find on my bookshelves books that I bought at used book sales over the years thinking that I would read them.  Those have been as good as they appeared on the table at the book fair.

I've made my way through Winston Churchill's three-volume set about World War II; I've read Bruce Catton's books on the Civil War....and lots of other books.  This spring a friend and I were talking about books we have never read.  These are considered "classics".  And now we are reading books by some of America's greatest writers.  Currently, we are reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

Spending time each day reading during retirement has allowed me to keep my mind active (especially during this pandemic) and has enriched my life with a deeper understanding of history and culture.  It has allowed me to "see" foreign lands and experience life through the eyes of the author.  I'm looking forward to finding some used book sales this fall so I can replenish my stock.  Check out those church and library book sales.  You are sure to find something to take home.



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