Saturday, November 12, 2011

To thank or not to thank

Generally, gratitude is a good thing. It's important to feel. It's nice to be thanked. And it feels good to thank.

But I've reached a time now, when I am unsure whether to say "Thanks." I know that to one person I have already said this thanks, but I'm thinking about withdrawing it.

A couple of months ago a friend (shall I continue to call him that?) recommended a book. He even showed me the book. His recommendations have been good in the past. Seeing the size of the book and the number of pages, I immediately thought about blowing $5 on eBay and buying it. I realized I'd never get it read during a three-week library loan. Because of the age of the book, that $5 might even have included the shipping cost.

But, instead, I reserved the book at the Woodstock Public Library and checked it out. And started reading it. And reading it. And reading it. Just how many pages are there in this book? it wouldn't be far off the mark to guess 1,000.

Now to my complaint, about the book and the man who recommended it.

I find this book fascinating. It's taking me a long while to get through it, because there are other things I want to do. But I'll pick it up "to read just a few pages" and, before I know it, the time to start on other business has passed. So I read a little farther and put it down - temporarily. And then, instead of reading in the several other books vying for my attention (and covering my kitchen table), I'm back to this one. And other, more pressing matters are sometimes delayed.

The book? Truman, by David McCullough. Harry S. Truman was born May 8, 1884 (year-of-birth corrected). He served as FDR's vice-president and then inherited the hot seat when FDR died. Truman was elected President of the United States in his own right and served 1949-1953. As a kid in the 1940s in St. Louis I heard Truman's name often, but there was never much conversation about him around our family dinner table. Dad's political position was "I'll always vote for the best man, as long as he's a Republican."

Author McCullough does a masterful job of presenting Harry Truman. His book, Truman, is worth reading. And reading. And reading.

By the way, I do really appreciate R.G. for recommending this book. Thanks!


Katherine said...

Harry S. Truman was born in 1984??

Gus said...

Katherine, thanks for letting me know of my error. I have corrected it. A lot happened in 1984, but Harry Truman's birth didn't.