Reading Potato Books for Your Pink Flamingo

September is a month dedicated to reading. I’m not sure why. Reading months should be in the dead of winter, when it’s too cold to do anything but curl up on the couch under a mound of blankets, pour hot chocolate over your head, and whimper about the weather. Or maybe that’s just me.

Or you could read, which seems more constructive.

But they didn’t ask me, and in fact they didn’t even tell me who “they” is, so September is both Adult Literacy Month and Read a New Book Month, which certainly do seem to go together. I don’t need to explain those, do I? If you don’t already know how to read, you’re probably not reading this right now, anyway.

September is also, according to the mysterious Them, Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month. Also related. As it happens, I’m a writer (thus this writing), and so I approve of Their decision.

So September is a month in which adults should read books written by writers, of which I am one. We writers shouldn’t let this go to our heads: It’s also Pink Flamingo Month, National Potato Month, and Save the Tiger Month. So They say.

Therefore, I’m going to start writing a new children’s book about a Tiger who gives up his Pink Flamingo diet and becomes a vegetarian devoted to potatoes. It’s working title: Potato Tiger Picks Pink Feathers From His Teeth.

That title … well, it’s a work in progress. Anyway, I recommend celebrating Read An Edited Writer’s Adult Literacy Month in October. Why not? It’ll be colder then anyway, and for those who’ve already read one book, this will be your chance to read two.

Even Beowulf has a favorite book. Ironically, it’s not “Beowulf”.

I don’t get why I even have to ask people to read. I don’t understood why people wouldn’t want to spend most of their time reading, with the possible exception of the late Hugh Hefner. And let’s face it, reading is way cheaper than sex, especially when you factor in certain prescriptions for someone who lived as long as Hugh. Not to mention alimony.

The irony is that I haven’t had much time in recent years to read; I’ve been busy writing. Stacks of books around the house tower over my head, ready to bury me in the most ironic death scene ever, and I’m not talking about just my own product. But by the time I’ve worked my full time job, then my second full time job of writing, I run out of time for my favorite relaxation activity. (I’m talking about reading – get your mind out of the gutter.)

So I dedicated myself to reading one new book every month, in addition to catching up on my magazine reading. (No, not one of Hef’s magazines … mind. Out of gutter. Now.) Frankly, I need the relaxation, and I began with a book my wife got for her literature class: Strong Poison, a 1930 mystery starring some guy named Lord Peter Wimsey.

Well, it was new to me. And more to the point, it happened to be on the coffee table when I learned this was Read a New Potato Novel to a Pink Editor Month. It’s shameful, really. I used to go to the Library and load up on the limit of books I could check out – every week – but that’s just another example of how grown up life lets us down. One book I can manage, these days. I challenge everyone else to do the same, and make it something you enjoy, something fun.

Stay away from Moby Dick, unless you’re a fishing fan.

Read to your pink flamingo, or read while feeding a potato to your tiger, or your editor, or whatever – but read. Let’s make this world literate again, in the way it was back when reading was fun instead of a chore. Oh, and be kind to the writers; maybe with a review, or a cup of hot chocolate. Be kind to editors, too … if they buy my stuff.


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