Doug Creamer column: Lost in a good book

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 2021

By Doug Creamer

I am semi-retired. I retired from teaching in the public schools, but I have continued to work part-time. My part-time job allows me a great deal of flexibility. One of the things that I get to enjoy more now that I am retired is reading. I read every day at lunch. I have read a number of books since I retired. If the weather is good, I will sit on my front porch reading.

While I will read some non-fiction, my preference is fiction. I love to get lost in a good book. The characters become very real for me. Sometimes I catch myself worrying about them while I am busy doing something else. If the story is really moving along, I might stay up late to keep reading.

I did not read much when I was in school. Most of the books that you are required to read in school did not hold my interest. I didn’t know reading could be enjoyable until my parents challenged me to read a book by Og Mandino: “The Greatest Miracle in the World.” I couldn’t believe that I both read and enjoyed a book.

When Og came to town to sign copies of his new book, I couldn’t wait. I went to a small bookstore where only a handful of people showed up. I got to spend almost an hour with him. He gave me his address and I wrote to him. He wrote me back … a highly treasured letter. I became hooked both on reading and writing.

Og has since passed away, but I have found other authors that I enjoy. My favorite author begins his books with a man whose life has fallen apart for some reason. He meets a woman whose life is also messed up. The two of them must work together against some evil plot and save both themselves and the world. Naturally, the two of them will fall in love. His novels take place around the world in exotic locations and they are fun to read.

There are two other authors that I really enjoy who write gut-wrenching books. The characters are put through horrific situations, things I prefer not read, but somehow the story ends in a positive and uplifting way. Let’s just say the good guys win and the bad guys get what is coming to them. The stories stick with you and sometimes haunt you like a ghost.

I just read the climax to a book yesterday at lunch. I set the book down to finish today. This particular author writes a few chapters after the climax to give the reader a chance to say good-bye. I like that about this writer, but he sometimes puts a little twist at the end just to keep you on your toes. I hate to say good-bye to the characters in a good book.

As a writer, I want to create unforgettable characters. Some have told me that they love Uncle Charlie from my Bluebird Café books. I want to improve my skills so I can write as well as some of the authors that I enjoy. I have heard that reading is the best way to become a better writer.

There is one book that I have really enjoyed reading. It has mystery, intrigue, murder and betrayal. There is plenty of action and adventure. There is romance and poetry. There are some good and bad people in the book. You can cheer for the heroes. The book also contains one of my favorite characters of all time. Can you guess the book? It’s the Bible.

No matter what style of reading you enjoy, there is something in the Bible for you. It’s God’s love story written for you. It’s the history of God interacting with people. It is the greatest book ever written, with many great contributing authors. Good always defeats evil, and justice always prevails. It is a story of human frailty and God’s love, strength, compassion, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. It is a book filled with hope.

I want to encourage you to read. There is something for every interest out there. Each of us enjoys different things. Find what interests you and find the joy and pleasure of reading. I also want to encourage you to read your Bible. Start in the New Testament and read about Jesus. I hope you discover that God is talking to you, wanting to help you and guide you through this crazy thing we call life. If you will excuse me, I have got to go see how the book I am reading ends….

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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