RT Cunningham

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Novels and Magazines

Tagged with entertainment, novels on March 2, 2024

novels and magazines Many years ago, before most of the entertainment choices of today even existed, I spent more than my fair share of time reading books and magazines. Although I don’t remember dates very well, I remember that a lot of it occurred in the 1980s, but some of it occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

I know a lot of people who never read anything unless it’s a job requirement. They don’t know what they’re missing. The imagery generated by the human mind is far more powerful than any video or movie screen can possibly display. The problem I have is that I won’t put a novel down until I’ve read it completely.

The Early Years

Well, that’s a subtitle I’ve used before, which I’ll probably use again. That’s what happens when you live long enough to retire from the work force. Anyway…

Before I was subjected to the nonsense of a drama class at my junior high school (called a middle school nowadays), I read all the books that a brother-in-law read (before he died in a car accident sometime before 1974). Although he was an outdoorsman, spending a lot of time hunting and fishing, he loved to read science-fiction and fantasy novels.

I vaguely remember a novel about a UFO crash and the first time I saw the words “men in black” in print. Try as I may, I can’t remember the name of the novel. Searching online has led to results that aren’t even close.

The aforementioned drama class required the students to read “The Hobbit”, and draw pictures of what they thought the hobbit would look like. I remember the story, but I don’t remember what my drawing looked like. It was probably horrible.

The only magazines I can remember reading were “Reader’s Digest”, where I read the condensed version of “Jaws”, and “TV Guide”.

Novels During My Military Years

I say this a lot, but I can’t remember when I read a lot of books. I can remember that most of it was before I married my wife in 1985. She demanded my attention when I wasn’t deployed somewhere, or on overnight duty. I was lucky to be able to watch programs on cable television after working all day and sometimes on the weekends.

What I remember of these is somewhat disjointed, but these are the novel series I remember reading. Some of them included works beyond what I read, but I don’t care to think about it. Here are the lists:

Somewhere along the line, I read “Earth Abides”, “I Am Legend”, and “Logan’s Run”. A made-for-TV movie titled “Where Have All the People Gone?” was similar to “Earth Abides”, but not based on it. When I read “I Am Legend”, I didn’t know that the movies “The Last Man on Earth” and “The Omega Man” were based on it. I read the novel long before the movie of the same name came out.

I read “Logan’s Run” years after the movie of the same name came out. The novel was much better. While I was deployed aboard a Navy ship for six months, with port of calls spaced about a month apart, I had nothing else to do but read when I wasn’t working. Others were playing cards or watching some old movie on the single TV in the berthing area.

The only magazines I remember reading were “Fangoria” and “Starlog”, but not many of the issues. There wasn’t enough substance for the price I had to pay for them.

After Military Retirement

I had four different types of jobs after military retirement, and I stuck with the last one for the longest time. I only quit that job when I decided to sell my house and move to the Philippines in 2006. I was a cargo and accident claims processor for the largest trucking company in the United States at the time. My shift was from 5pm to 5am, four days on and four days off.

I always seemed to be working during the holiday season, which included Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. During that season, I would spend more time twiddling my fingers than doing any real work. Very few truck drivers worked during that week, and I was lucky to take a single claim for each day. I borrowed novels from other employees at the terminal headquarters, who were working the same shift.

Although I read quite a few novels, of multiple genres, I only remember one series:

Unfortunately, I never had an opportunity to read the remaining eight novels in the series. Now, I no longer have any desire to read them at all.

The only magazines I’ve read since 2006 are those that anyone can find in a doctor’s waiting room, or available to read while riding a plane. I wouldn’t call it reading, though. It’s more like flipping through the pages and reading one or two articles.

I bought a Kindle e-reader years ago, before the paperwhite model became available, thinking that I would read e-books that way. Other than a few that were free, I didn’t read much at all. That device is now collecting dust in one of my wardrobe cabinets, and has been since 2015 at the latest.

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

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