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First words in the search engine today were Hal and Roger. This brought up the name Willard Price. Sometimes I question my own reading habits. I tell myself I need to read someone like Tolkien or Tolstoy to stop myself being just another clone raised on King, Herbert n Koontz (for years I thought Steve King invented italics and everybody else was copying him). But no. It all started not with the influence of these big hitters, but with Willard Price. Hal and Roger were his two main characters in a series of 19 children’s adventure books, spanning 30 years from 1950 to 1980. He lived from 1887 to 1983. It’s swell to know I’ve read the work of a man from the 1800s without being pointed to him by an English teacher, and what’s more, I’ve never seen an image of him. Clive Barker, for example, looks nothing at all like his all-masterful legendary name suggests. Author photographs should be released sparingly. Contrast this with the truly inspirational modern ebook behemoth J. A. Konrath, drinking beer, topless, on YouTube (fair play).
~I read some of these adventure books before the days of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) and Street Fighter 2 (1991). I remember being entertained by man-eating lions and witch doctors in leopard skins. It made me want to be a naturalist, the same as Hal and Roger, whose job it was to catch wild animals for zoos. It instilled in me a sense of the continent. I can’t remember when or why I forgot all this.
~Reading on paper automatically makes the connection between ink and print, I reckon. If you have access to a pen, you can write. When reading on a screen, where does the connection come from? A keyboard, I would imagine (preferably QWERTY). Young’uns in da future will be writing what I call “straight into the computer”. Or maybe they will be writing longhand onto a tablet. Or dictating. Or thinking it via their brainwaves into an apple app. They’ll be very lucky if they can manage to pick up paperback gems from the 1800s. Let’s have a virtual beer and make a toast to Willard, Hal and Roger. Sláinte