COLUMNS

Outtakes: Think of kids, support the library

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent

(part one of two)

Frank Weaver Jr.

I love to read. Give me a good book, a soft rain bouncing off the window and a warm fire and I'm contented.

Most of the books I read come from the Akron Summit County Public Library system and the majority from the Portage Lakes branch on Manchester Road.

Believe me when I tell you that while these books are in my possession, they are never, ever, out of an arm's length reach. Many times they're returned with various book-markers still resting between pages. I've lost so many markers that way, I'm running short, and just may have to order another batch of the Crab Cake & Pepper; ones (named after the first novel I wrote a number of years ago).     

I've always been a reader. As a kid, with a book or two in my hands, I'd climb to the top of the hayloft during the rainy season, and, while listening to the soft pitter-patter of raindrops playing nature's delicate cadence on the single-shingled barn roof, I'd read to my heart's content. Sometimes I'd fall asleep to the beat of the rain bouncing off the roof and later wake up to the soft tap of some unnamed tune, and I'd continue my book right where I left off. Even then, with all the chores we had to do on the farm, I'd read more than most kids my age, but no where near as much as I read today.                

Needless to say, like everyone else, I, too, have my favorite authors. Mine is headed by none other than Samuel Clemons. After all, how do you create a list of favorite writers without topping it with the one man who introduced the art of color (writing dialogue in  the same way the character speaks it – accent and all) into America's literature writings? Clemons, aka Mark Twain, was the first to do this with his novels "Huckleberry Finn", "Tom Sawyer" and others, opening a whole new field of literature writing for authors.      

Ernest Hemingway, author of "For Whom The Bell Toll" and other war stories, comes in second. To me, Hemingway's greatest literary achievement is without a doubt, the short story about The Old Man and The Sea, which captured one literary award after another. That novel, a brief,  but smartly written, tale about a struggling old-timer, a Yankee baseball fan who is trying to land a huge fish into a wooden skiff in the middle of an ocean, and his elementary style of writing, certainly warranted it.                  

John Grisham comes in third. I've read nearly every book he has ever published, including his kid lawyer series, "Theodore Boone", and I love every one. "A Time for Mercy" is almost impossible to put down and his latest, "Camino Winds" will keep your eyes glued to the pages. More than that, I love courtroom drama, especially trial summations. In Grisham's first book, "A Time To Kill", in my opinion the defense attorney's summary happens to be one of the greatest jury summations I have ever encountered.      

Now the Akron Summit County Public Library has a levy on the May 4 ballot to be decided by Summit County's registered voters. Issue 10 it is NOT a new tax. It is a renewable one.

The levy supports the main library in downtown Akron and all the branch libraries around the county, including the Portage Lakes and Green branches. I don't always support proposed levies but I never fail to support a library levy.                        

The out of pocket expense it takes to bring such a wealth of educational material to our children and to entertain ourselves during this pandemic is well worth more than what one would ever expect to pay for such a service. I hope you agree and see fit to join me in this educational venture.          

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com