Commentary Readers Respond Readers Respond

Readers write: Shared reading memories, appreciation of new Daily format

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 23, 2017 weekly magazine.

Old books intended for use by staff members in the bank's early years are seen inside Coutts private bank in London on Oct. 10, 2017.
Peter Nicholls/Reuters
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Caption
  • Anne Carr Bingham
    Monitor reader
  • Elaine Zavodni-Sjoquist
    Monitor reader

Shared reading memories

I was enchanted by Robert Klose’s Sept. 4 Home Forum essay, “How I became a reader of books.” It brought back memories of my more than threescore years of reading, even as a small child. Having experienced the pleasure of book ownership at a much younger age than Mr. Klose, my introduction to reading was on a far less sophisticated plane than “The Cask of Amontillado.” My first love was Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses,” followed by the Beatrix Potter animal stories, Nancy Drew mysteries, and eventually the English classics of Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and the Brontë sisters.

I, too, recall the flashlight-under-the-covers routine after lights out. I, too, remember intuiting the difference between a primer and a story. Perhaps my becoming a reader was more of a planned affair than Mr. Klose’s, if only because my father saw to it, feeding me a steady diet of poetry and prose throughout my childhood. As an adult, my reading tastes have run more to history and biography. But there have been a few novels that have captivated me from the opening lines, none more so than Alan Paton’s transcendent story “Cry, the Beloved Country,” whose first two sentences of shimmering prose I memorized long ago. You and I, Mr. Klose, we were two lucky kids!

Anne Carr Bingham

Salem, Conn.

Appreciation of new Daily format

You’ve convinced me! It’s taken a while, but I am now appreciating your daily five-story format. Initially I resisted the idea of you being the one to choose which articles to highlight. But I’m now a convert and concur with your choices 99 percent of the time. And your ongoing People Making a Difference series is heartwarming. In fact, my husband and I have just registered to help out next April with Grenada’s National Learn to Swim Week program, which was profiled in your Aug. 21 & 28 issue of the Weekly. The Monitor is a big influence in our lives. Many thanks for keeping it up to date, relevant, and purposeful.

Elaine Zavodni-Sjoquist

Portland, Maine

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