In recent years, I've rediscovered my love for reading. For a long, long time, finding the time to read was difficult. For many years, I worked what is known in the broadcast industry as morning drive. Broadcasting during morning drive requires getting up in the middle of the night and preparing to be on the air when the rest of the world rolls out of bed at sunup. It's exciting but exhausting.

Working morning drive allowed me to split the day with my wife, who also worked full time, to raise two kids. It was a perfect arrangement, but it ran me ragged. When I wasn't working morning drive, I took care of the boys. When my wife got home from work after 5 p.m., I went to my second job several nights a week. Somewhere in there, I got to sleep a few hours each day.

Please don't misunderstand, because I am not complaining. I would not have done anything differently. I am simply pointing out how life got in the way of my ability to spend time with a good book. When I did find time, my brain was too scrambled to comprehend the written word, which brings me to my point.

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As the kids grew up and left the nest and life's demands lessened, I rediscovered reading. The joys of exploring and learning and just getting lost between two covers are indescribable to me. I have even established a small library full of biographies, history, and the great stories of our time. I spend hours pouring through used book stores, looking for gems to add to my collection.

But reading has changed between then and now. I don't get this digital reading craze. Many people read about something that interests them on Wikipedia or Google, or they buy or rent a read on Kindle. What's up with that? How can you read a book without having the actual book in your hands? You need to feel it, smell it, and be able to put it on a shelf for future reference.

Many folks collect books on Kindle, but it's not the same. Lose your connection, and you lose your ability to add to your collection. And what have you got to show people who might be impressed by your library, a cellphone screen? Good, old-fashioned traditional books, especially hardcover books, beat Kindle hands down every time.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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