“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them”
Mark Twain 1835-1910
My dad loved quoting both Mark Twain and Winston Churchill when I was growing up. My first dog was a Springer Spaniel named Winston Churchill so for the longest time I thought dad was quoting our dog. Winston was, after all, the best bird dog in the whole neighborhood. I understood about Mark Twain. He wrote Tom Sawyer who gave me some excellent ideas on how to get out of unwanted chores.
I read all the time. I can’t fall asleep at night without reading as that has been my habit since I was three. So one day, in my early adolescence when the guitar took up a great deal of my time, I was trying to explain a reference to Tom Sawyer in a Rush song to one of my buddies – as those who know me, I have always looked at certain song-writers as poets. My buddy only cared about the cool factor of Rush and did not care why the song, “Tom Sawyer” was so brilliant for that time.
He did not get it because he never read anything. If it was not made into a movie, he reasoned, it could not be any good. There were movies on Tom Sawyer, I told him, but he had this idea that he must deny all childhood things to be a man, and asserted that he did not watch “kiddie” films. I was frustrated by it and suddenly there was one more quote by Mark Twain that also proved to be a truth. A lot of his little gems proved true over the years, even without broader context.