Reading is a means not an end


Read, read, read. There cannot be enough centers or programs to encourage reading or for readers that already read to continue reading. There are not enough libraries. There is so much to read so your intake should be (even though I don’t like shoulds)  diverse if for nothing else than to develop an ability to judge well. It can be overwhelming and it can be something we need to make ourselves do. How many of us remember complaining or revolting against the reading we had to do in junior high? (or maybe it was just talk) or any schooling for that matter, when there was so much to do outside, with friends, because learning comes in various ways and the things that stimulate more than one of our senses is compelling. Not to mention the labels we try not to have hanging over us, like bookish, quiet, withdrawn.

I have stacks of things around me, books, magazines, printouts, all things that I have found interesting at one time or another. It happens to be because I read, often in the morning with tea, and something happens almost always, almost immediately, that I get an inspiration to say something, to let somebody know that, for instance, I just read about Robert Capon, a priest, theologian and food writer, who died on Sept 5th at age 87. And I have been wanting to write something about him or about reading about him because the obit creates a characterization, or better, shows me something of his character, personality, because, — “he liked a drink or two as well: a married couple’s half-bottle amid meatloaf and brawling children was one of the ‘cheerful minor lubrications’ of the ‘sandy gears of life’.” Or, “At a posh church in East Hampton, he started his sermon by burning a $20 bill, with words: ‘I have just defied your God.'”

I knew nothing about the man before and now want to read one of his books, partly because of his ideas about cooking expressed in the article: “cooking is a means not an end.”

Perhaps I can say, reading is a means not an end.

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Rescue non-profit status by filing on line


As I begin a process of getting help to become a non-profit small literary press, I was concerned to find an article about how many small non profits, budgets under $25,000, may lose their status if they fail to file the 990 N form with the IRS this week.  I don’t want to get into the political commentary about this, but this seems like an underhanded way to hurt the private sector.

Evidently, three years ago Congress amended the tax code requiring  this filing. Further investigation found that if organizations failed to file for three years ending this week, their status is threatened. A glimmer of hope; even further looking revealed a postcard or e-filing that the IRS Commissioner urged groups to file even if it is late, in order to curb the process which could take a long time to correct. This applies to historical societies, libraries, musical groups, theatrical groups, and possibly small presses. What could Congress have been thinking? I don’t know enough, but I think it requires further investigation into the codes and what it means and what might be done about it.

Now that this news is out, albeit last-minute, hopefully losing tax exemption for grants and donations will be avoided by many who are struggling to break even if they file this late card. It seems almost brutal when I think that these are groups bringing cultural enrichment to communities across the country.