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Too Much Reading: Part 1

Most boys would rather ride their bikes or do something outside than read books. But not Billy and his little brother, Sam! They would rather read books than anything else in the whole world. Their mother took them to the library every week, and after returning several boxes of books they checked out several more. This was Billy’s favorite time.

There were lots of books at the library—shelves and shelves of them. There didn’t seem to be in danger of running out of things to read there. Billy would have loved to live at the library.

Mother had been a schoolteacher, and she wanted her boys to read a lot and learn all that they could. She was glad that her boys liked to read.

But she also believed that boys should learn to help with chores around the house. They should make their own beds; they should wash the dishes; they should take out the trash. Daddy also had ideas about what boys should do to help out and do their part. “You live here,” he said, “and you should help with the work.”

Now Billy and Sam knew that they should help out Mother and Daddy. They did not really like to work, but they knew that they should. Perhaps you are thinking that they should have liked to work. I believe that you are right about that. Perhaps you are thinking that they liked to read too much. I would have to agree with you there, as well. But this is a story of two boys who were really like this. I must tell it as it really happened.

Billy and Sam never seemed to have enough time to read with all the work that needed to be done. Do you know what they did? They carried a book with them when they were made to do their chores. Then, I am sorry to say, they would stop working as soon as Mother was not near, and they would read. You can guess how long it took them to do anything.

They would prop a book up in front of them and slowly wash dishes (a snail would have moved faster) as their eyes read and read and read. Then Mother would come. They would stop reading and move slightly faster.

Mother saw that something had to be done. Now you might say, “Stop taking them to the library.” But she did not do that. Instead, she took their book away and said they could have it again when the work was done.

I wish that I could tell you that this worked. But it did not. There was something wrong in the hearts of Billy and Sam. They did not have what the Bible calls “a ready mind.” Even though the reading had some good to it, they were selfish in doing just what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it. They were determined to read, even when they should have wanted to help out.

To be continued in the next issue