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A favorite book can comfort and enlighten.

In Books, Entertainment, Opinion, psychology, sociology, Uncategorized on June 23, 2015 at 1:58 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGONot too long ago, I published a Deer In Headlines column on the subject of how, as a writer, I’m frequently asked what books I read and why. Since then, I realized that I have a tendency to re-read certain books that I’ve enjoyed over the years and I know that most people do the same thing.

Click to watch the TV interview of this topic from Living Dayton, WDTN-TV2.

Click to watch the TV interview of this topic from Living Dayton, WDTN-TV2.

So, it had me wondering, in a world with countless literary choices, why we often choose to go back to an old favorite, rather than boldly going where we’ve never read before. After a little research and some asking around, I learned that the reasons we sometimes revisit the same bookshelf are more complicated than I first thought.

For starters, humans are creatures of comfort, at least to some extent, and many of us read because it was one of the ways our parents made a connection when we were very young. Reading was soothing, like an old blanket you wrap up in before bedtime and have a hard time parting with once it’s tattered and threadbare.

Gery holds copies of "Flights of Fiction" - one of his favorite books. Produced by the Western Ohio Writers Association.

Tradition might be another word to describe this idea too. Personally, I like to read Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol,” at the holidays every year – time permitting – as one of my own traditions. It’s a story that never fails to entertain and enlighten, and I always take away something new.

If a certain book imprints on you from a young age, you’re likely to go back to it again and again for the sheer level of reassurance it brings you. A familiar story can be calming and offer a welcome escape from the daily rigors of life or just a fun adventure into another world.

Re-reading a book you once read in your youth can also offer a different perspective. Life experience can change how we view ideas or motivations first encountered at a much younger age. Going back to that book you read in high school English class might just take your understanding of its meaning to a new level.

Plus peeling back the layers of the author’s work with a more mature perspective can even help you learn more about yourself. One article I read on the subject referred to this concept as, “cheap, effective therapy.”

When others talk about a book you’ve already read, you may discover that there are elements of the story you might have missed the first time around. Going back over it again on a quest to uncover those points for yourself can turn a good read into a great adventure, even if it’s not your first trip through the tale.

There are many other reasons why we re-read our old favorites. We may like the author or just enjoy the book for no readily apparent reason. Whatever your impetus, dust off that old copy of your favorite novel and give it another look. In case you are wondering, here are two of my favorite re-reads and a bit about why I choose to go back to them time and again.

I seem to repeatedly choose, “Microserfs” by Douglas Coupland. This is a fictional story, set in the early 1990s, about a group of Microsoft programmers who broke away to go out on their own while dealing with life’s road blocks. I always find it inspiring and I can easily relate to their desire to be part of “version one point zero.”

Another book I revisit regularly is, “Hit Man,” by Lawrence Block. There are four books in the “Hit Man” series, but I always go back to the original. The main character is, as the title suggests, a killer for hire. But the way Block presents him to the audience as somewhat mile mannered and tells the story of his rather violent occupation is intriguing and thoughtful.

I have others, but these make the point of how varied our favorites can be. Just like old movies and TV shows, favorite books have a meaning in our lives. Sometimes it’s just good to go back and visit that world, whether it’s over the rainbow or just down the street.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com

Jamestown variety group to headline Tipp City 175th

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, history, Local News, News Media, Senior Lifestyle, Theatre, Uncategorized on June 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm

tipp logoTipp City, Ohio – The City of Tipp City will be commemorating its 175th Anniversary this year with a two-day celebration, Friday July 3 and Saturday July 4. The festivities will be held at Tipp City Park and include live entertainment, food, vendors and family activities.

“This is an exciting time for Tipp City, as we will be commemorating the 175th Anniversary of our wonderful city.” said Tipp City Mayor, Pat Hale. “The Planning Committee is working hard to put together a great event for the entire family. We are inviting the entire community to join in on the celebration.”

Friday evening will kick off the weekend with live entertainment, horse and buggy rides and guest speakers in the historical district. On Saturday afternoon, things get started with a parade celebrating Tipp City’s heritage. At Tipp City Park, visitors will enjoy food vendors, family activities and live entertainment headlined at 5:00 p.m. by The Brothers & Co. Music and Variety Show followed by an ‘80s band leading up to the evening fireworks display.

DSC_1589“We’re glad to be a part of such an historic event,” noted Gery L. Deer, of Jamestown, who serves tripple duty as performer, publicist and manager of The Brothers & Co. show. “That area of Miami County is rich in events that shaped the Miami Valley and Dayton’s outlying regions. We are going to give the visitors there a fun, family-friendly taste of old-style Americana entertainment.”

City Councilmen Matt Owen is chair of the 175th Planning Committee.“We are encouraging the entire community to get involved with the celebration.” he said.  “Throughout the year Tipp City has many events and activities and we are encouraging them to create their own celebration or activity within each of those events.”

More information can be found on the event Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/686370538176430/  The Brothers & Co. Show is presented courtesy of Gibson Law Offices and GLD Enterprises Communications.

 

Books and Co. hosts live reading by local authors of WOWA, June 19

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Entertainment, history, Local News, psychology, Technology on June 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm

IMG_0030Beavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7pm on Friday, June 19, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Writers from all genres will regale visitors with original works of poetry and prose to the theme, “Leave No Trace.” The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

Barbara Deer is the co-founder of the organization. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” she says. (Click to watch the television interview about last summer’s Beatnik from WDTN-TV2, Living Dayton 6-12-2014)

Barbara Deer, WOWA co-founder.

Barbara Deer, WOWA co-founder.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

wowa-beatnik

Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

WOWA Logo 2Now in its seventh year, this talented group of scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Communications. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

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