There are many ways to spend our time
Some shop while others cook
A few engage in greed and crime
Or obsess on how they look
I prefer to read a book.

Of course, I could watch TV
Frequent my local pub
Or sail upon the salty sea
Seek refuge in a steaming tub
Ponder tactics in a chess club.

I prefer a weighty tome
To a night out with the boys
Hunker down at home
Rather than a bar with deafening noise
Exchanging boasts about toys.

For company I have Rimbaud
Tolstoy, Conrad, and Chaucer
Literature helps my brain to grow
Or escape on flying saucer
As do plays and lyrics by Loesser.

[“You have the cool clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth
Yet, there’s that up-turned chin
And the grin
of impetuous youth”]

My favorite writer Conrad
Who penned “Heart of Darkness”
My intellectual comrade
A style of distinctive starkness
A crisp form far from artless.

Bradbury, Le Guin, and Heinlein,
Doyle, Connelly, and Christie,
Chills run down my spine,
Gut tightens, eyes go misty,
As the logic unravels and the plot turns twisty.

These days its science fiction
and vexing mystery
dystopia my new addiction
sometimes creative history
but not romantic hysteri(a).

I’ve read the classics
Tolstoy and Dickens, all sublime
And trash encased in plastic
Henry Miller comes to mind
Playboy once upon a time.

After 3000 reads
I avoid serial killers
Excess of gore and bleeds
violent thrillers
tomes with existential fillers.

My advice to new readers
Beginning your literary foray
Ignore best-selling leaders
Start with a Hemingway story
End with “the Dead,” Joyce’s glory.

Written by : Bob Burnett