Doggy Dee

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Hi there, are you thinking of settling down in front of the box, all set for an evening’s viewing? Well, before you do, check the “what’s on” section of the paper, and if you don’t really fancy any of it, try this. It’s called reading. Yes, I know you’re going to say that you’re reading this article. But I don’t mean this kind of reading. I mean real reading.

I took up reading again when I went to visit my mate Ray. He is into technical toys. He has a FO Plasma screen that is so big that it fills up an entire wall of his tiny lounge. He has a surround theatre system, worth a small fortune, to go with. It that can be heard two miles away – even with the volume knob on ‘two’. When you sit on his sofa, if you lean forward, your nose touches the screen. He is very proud of it. He showed me just how good it was by playing a music DVD. I felt I was in the show. The characters were life size and I could hear them breathe. I was singing with Michael Jackson and dancing with the ghouls, it was soo cool.

His wife was seated on one of the chairs with an Ipad on her lap. I asked her: “Is that a game?” “No,” she said. “I’ve downloaded a book.” “Don’t you need to get one from the shelf?” I asked, a little confused. “No, that’s old hat.” She said, with a voice that suggested that maybe I should have known better. “We don’t do that anymore!”

Those comments made by Ray’s wife prompted me to try the “old way”, to see if I still liked it. I was quite a reader as a younger person. And, darn it, I find that I do! I have discovered – or should I say, rediscovered – that there are these wonderful buildings everywhere, full of books, called libraries. They have old and new books on lots of different subjects: fiction, cooking, biographies, comedy – the list is endless. They also have DVDs, newspapers, CDs, and lots of reference books. You can even borrow games. If they don’t have what you want at that library, they will call another one to see if they have it and get it sent over. How cool is that?

Libraries used to be very popular, but they sort of faded a bit. These days, librarians are coming up with ways to make the library a more interactive place to go to. Last time I was there, a guy with a guitar was playing softly in the corner. It was sort of live background music. He was good and it gave the place a nice feel.

Check your local library. You might be surprised to find you like it.

There are so many good movies about at the moment. (Go and see Hugo. It’s great.) One very good one is John Carter. A film based on a series of books written by Edgar Rice Borroughs, of Tarzan fame, and which I used to read. He wrote lots of other things too. Actually, if you’ve only seen Tarzan in the movies, try the book. It’s a better story. I found the first of the John Carter series, “Princess of Mars”. It was written in 1911, but the storyline holds up to movies of modern times. Rice Burroughs was one of the first popular writers to touch on the topic of “Astral Planning”, although he doesn’t actually call it that. The movie is a mixture of a few genres that have been dealt with recently. Apparently, the special effects are great and need to be seen on a big screen. So, we’re going to see it in 3D in a cinema, not Ray’s lounge.

If you have an opinion you’d like to vent, write to me at If it’s not too politically incorrect (even if it is) it may pass inspection and appear in this column. (We can withhold names if preferred)

Till next time. Woof!


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