Pam Rainey: It’s always time for a date with a good book

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Some baby boomers best understand books that you hold in your hands, the kind that line library shelves according to the Dewey Decimal System.

Other boomers, like me, have discovered the joy of electronic books. And yet we still cling to a few hardbacks.

Younger generations understand technology. Recently, I opened a cabinet in my hallway while my 11-year-old granddaughter Kenzie was visiting.

“Ahhhh … a library,” she said.

I beamed. It really isn’t a library at all. I’ve just stored a few treasured books. Some have yellow highlighter marks throughout, underlining meaningful words, phrases and paragraphs.

My library is not filled with what’s technically called “the classics.” I’m just glad to know that my granddaughter might treasure them when I’m pushing up daisies.

Here’s the rub. Will there be no books left in our world with so many of us reading on electronic devices?

One thing I’m pretty sure of: The books I have grown to love in my collection are about as different as sushi and fried chicken. That’s what will make the project I’m going to present to you so interesting. I truly want to hear from you. My words are limited. So this could be challenging over the coming months.

Columns form in my mind in an interesting way. I can’t explain it. I see a bumper sticker, hear a lyric to a song, or am touched by someone shedding a tear. Other times, people do the strangest things in the strangest places. I have a silent belly laugh and jot down an idea for a column. For today’s idea, when my ghostwriter never appeared and I had writer’s block, I asked my lifelong friend Linda, who lives on faraway Mobile Bay, for help. She said: “Turn to your readers for book ideas.”

Here are some of the books my friends mentioned as favorites: To Kill a Mockingbird, Charlotte’s Web, Little Women, Grapes of Wrath and A Man Called Peter. (An interesting bit of trivia: Male friends didn’t give me many hints.)

I learned one long, boring summer in Georgia that when it was too steamy hot to go outside, a good Nancy Drew mystery helped the time pass quickly and piqued my interest in reading for the rest of my life. Later, as my reading became more diversified, I learned that no matter what stage of life I found myself in, books would entertain, comfort and teach me. As a senior adult, I am having a new romance with books.

When I’ve been in and out of surgery, lonely, or not quite fit enough for travel, a book has become a friend and a tour guide to places I’ve always wanted to go.

Recently I’ve enjoyed learning about my ancestors. My cousin has been kind enough to share our English roots and has made genealogy fun.

Authors lead us into interesting and winding plots that make us look forward to having enough time to get to the next chapter to see how a story will end and if there are any more books by that author. So, put down the gardening while it is so hot and pick up a good mystery.

Down in the dumps? You may find yourself laughing out loud by yourself when an author creates a book filled with hilarious situations you can relate to in your own life. If your grandchildren are around, your laughter will entice them to be curious about reading.

If your eyes are not what they used to be, audiobooks are now widely available. Or listen to books being read while driving.

We have some wonderful authors in our area. Just to name one, Denton’s own Donna Fielder is authoring books, as my grandmother would put it, “to beat the band.” I’ve read all of them and they are excellent. I’m so proud of her bravery and the role she has played as a journalist in solving crimes and helping put people behind bars.

So, what is your favorite book? Whether it is a classic, historical fiction, romance, cookbook or something else, I would like to hear about it. Please include why it is your favorite. Perhaps I can share a suggested fall reading list from readers in a future column.

Hope you are having a great summer. Happy reading!

PAM RAINEY is a longtime Denton resident and a real estate agent who has helped many seniors make decisions about living arrangements. She can be reached at or 940-293-3117.

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