March 10, 2014, Monday evening -- Reading John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

On 9th Street in the SOMA

Reading The Two Towers, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkein (I'd always wondered what the J.R.R. stood for).

He is an avid reader. "I don't read books," he said, "I devour them."

The reason for his avid reading is that he is 8-years sober and at his 6-month point when he was having a rough time his sponsor gave him some advice.  He told him that whenever he either wanted to kill someone or have a drink, he should pick up a book, lock the door, and don't even let God in, unless you want to talk to him.  He now reads at least 3 books a week.

"When you watch a movie," he asked, "where's the action?"  
"On the screen," I said.
"When you watch TV," he asked, "where's the action?"
"On the screen," I said.
"When you read a book," he asked, "where's the action?"
"On the pages," I said, and he shook his head and told me I was wrong.
"It's in your head," he said.  "Here on the page, all there are is words."  Then, he went on to explain that all that work your head is doing is creating connections that will make you 68% less susceptible to dementia, if you read a book a week.  His cited was a John Hopkins study.