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My reading list, at time of writing, is not extensive, for sure. I no longer read as voraciously as once did, which on reflection is a huge loss but something inside the failing mind just doesn’t jump at it anymore. Well, not much, even though I try.

 

We were poor when I was under 12 and my dad’s enthusiasm for reading encouraged me to find places of escape, rescue and solace. The library and the 5 cards I got, free, to let me take books home. A real miraculous action. Different colours to encourage different genres.

 

Not sexy these days but ‘Just William’ books, Richmal Crompton and Enid Blyton ‘Five’ and ‘Seven’ series well before they had their controversies, took me away, comfortably if oddly, to places someone in my social contexts would never visit. Dad presented a number of the classics to me- I didn’t take to Dickens, it was language too far from me though I did find them in later youthful years. Treasure Island was the favourite along with Kidnapped. Later a story called ‘The Silver Sword’ by Ian Serralier held me captive. And there were others. That was then.

 

I read a great deal of ‘work’ based editions, journals, articles and collections as I neared the rump of my career, much of which I was familiar with but it did return light to older ideas and for more than I appreciated, exploded stars for the first time, even resulting in my own creations. ’If I knew then, what I know now.’

 

I read many books attempting to champion styles of leadership, leaders not managers, leaders not anything else and so on. Thats for another piece however.

 

Farewell murder mystery, biographies, fiction/faction, historical twists.

 

I would bet a penny that there are more ‘motto’ quotes about the virtues of reading than any other topic – at least in the bloated developed world, so to speak.

 

For example…

• Once you learn to read you will be forever free.
• A book – a gift you can open again and again.
• Read books as you would breathe air.
• A book can be dream that you hold in your hands.
• A writer only starts a book, a reader finishes it.
• Reading is how to install new software in your brains.
• Books are uniquely magic.
• Read books and change the world.
• We are made to tell stories.

 

Another source of inspiration are the lyrics of songs packed with metaphor and simile. They scream at the lines drawn between song, poetry, prose and blethers.

 

What is the difference between a poem and a song? Ask Bob Dylan if he passes your way. World acclaimed songwriter ; Nobel prize for literature/writing. Leonard Cohen fans will talk for hours on his work and listen to Joni Mitchells songs and wonder!!

 

I like blues songs for the simplicity of the lyrics, yet the depths and meaning you can find in them if you work at it.

 

Sam Cook does a good job here. Change is a theme but what, for example does the first line say?

 

Enjoy.

 

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.

I was born by the river in a little tent,
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ev’r since
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please,
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees, oh
There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

SAM COOKE