When I was growing up, I frequently read the dictionary. I didn’t start at the beginning, nor did I read it cover-to-cover, but I’d open to a random page and read about each word — its spelling, pronunciation, origin, history, antonyms, synonyms, variations, definitions, and usage. When bored with the dictionary, I read The World Book Encyclopedia — random subjects. Occasionally, I’d read The Field Guide to Trees. When desperate, I read The Yellow Pages.
I have a penchant for reference books in general. I once purchased The Dictionary of Imaginary Places but still haven’t read it. I may have read Roget’s Thesaurus from front to back. If I were to begin acquiring books for my home library, I’d begin with reference books of interest to me such as the Oxford English Dictionary that contains complete histories and usages of each word; Thoreau’s journals; and others.
©2011 by JoAnn Brown