When I was a kid I said endlessly, and surely annoyingly, “I read in a book,…” and would add my morsel to the conversation. I don’t recall the point at which I put it all together and derived my own opinions.
I still read endlessly. On line magazines, newspapers and blogs have saved me from subscribing to more newspapers than I could conveniently recycle.
Our childhood library contained books with stories of famous people and events, or historical turning points. They arrived monthly. I have no idea how my parents subscribed to them. They were bound with green dimpled covers around inexpensive paper. In retrospect, American people, events, history.
I read about Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, The Santa Fe Trail. Flatboats on the Monongahela, Alleghany and Ohio Rivers. Paso por aquí on a rock face in the southwest. I found even more books in the library.
For a long period I devoured histories of the settlement of the Western Reserve and the Ohio Valley, and the spread into prairies of Indiana and Illinois. In a book that must have been about the movement of newspapers into the west, I read that line, “With 26 leaden soldiers I can conquer the world.” It was put into the mouth of a newspaper editor, who ascribed it to someone whose name I could not remember.
I recall in the history the printing equipment crossed the Kankakee River. How strange I can recall that, but not the person who owns the line. My friend Google tells me it must be Benjamin Franklin: “Give me 26 lead soldiers and I can conquer the world.” I was struck when I read it, and even now, the verb is “can,” not “will.” Sorry, the auxiliary verb. No arrogance, but ability. I’ve read a lot by and about Franklin, and that was his style.
The news last night had a piece on sleep being essential for moving short term memory from the front of our brains to the hard drive, long term memory at the back. Now that is a new problem for me, and I need to read more about it.