Sam Bauman: A reminder of that great freedom we enjoy — reading



One of my favorite memories is from grade school days when my teacher Mrs. Duer came around handing out books for the class to read. She gave me one with color pictures of sailing ships on the cover titled “Great Explorations.” She said, “Sammy, now you can be a great explorer yourself by reading this book” as she moved on.

My first reaction was she’s nuts, how can a book make me a great explorer? But she was right, I read the book and vowed to be at least an explorer.

And I did that as a journalist working in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Mideast. I wandered North Africa and Scandinavia and enjoyed many experiences. I credit Mrs. Duer for sending me on my way.

And of course, reading books is one great gift for seniors. Light fiction, biographies, thrillers, histories — they are all out there waiting for us to pick up. And reading is free in Carson City at the library.

There’s a room on the right for teens gather and learn. And ahead are “New Fiction” and new “Non-Fiction” displays with stacks of books in the back.

I’ve enjoyed the Carson Library from my first year and continue to, although the flow of magazines and periodicals keeps me reading.

I also have a Kindle e-book reader, which helps when I’m too busy to drive to the library, or its annex across the street where used books are for sale.

The Kindle works fine for me. Easy to read, easy to skim for new titles and it’s not expensive.

And the library is offering an introduction to Overdrive, it’s program that offers a way to download ebooks and audiobooks. The intro class will take place Thursday at the library’s training hub on the second floor of the library.

Those at the workshop will learn how to use the new Overdrive website and get helping setting up devices. Those attending are encouraged to bring their mobile devices, library card numbers and Amazon passwords if they have them.

Overdrive is free to library card holders who work, live or attend school in Carson City. Library card holders can check out and download digital media by visiting the library’s home page and selecting the link “Download ebooks & more” on the right side of the page. Further info, call Rachel at 775-887-224, ext.7588.

Incidentally, I’m going to attend the workshop to iron out some kinks in my Kindle. I’ve let it run out of power too often and I need to refresh it.

For those who haven’t tried to use the Kindle, it’s not difficult once you get set up. You can adjust type size and brightness and flip through pages on an ebook easily. Some seniors have found that they enjoy the heft of a printed book more, but the Kindle is light and easy to hold.

So see you Thursday at the library.


I recently received a pamphlet advising me what works to take with me when stranded on a deserted island. I was happily reminded of books I have read and enjoyed. One that was listed by three of the judges was Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” a classic about the Soviet Union in the 1930s and ’40s. Koestler fell out with the USSR over some of the trials and his hero goes over the logic of communism. Yes, kind of passes now but still one of the best fictional studies of thee subject.

A book nobody seems to remember these days is Charles Dickens at his reporting best, “A Tale of Two Cities,” that brings the French Revolution brilliantly to life. If you want to check it out at the library, look in the children’s section, for obscure reasons.

A couple of other books of passing interest: “13 Hours of Benghazi” factual telling by those who took part in that hectic scene. Not for the politicos who are sure Hillary Clinton is to blame for what went wrong, but it clearly explains the difference between the embassy and CIA station.

And reliable Todd Borg is back with book No. 13 in his Owen McKenna Tahoe series. A Tahoe resident Borg is a quiet, prizewinning author who tells a fascinating story always.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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