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DOUG FORD: Declaration of Independence

I’m close to declaring independence from television after a disappointing experience last week, at least for a little while.

Our PBS networks have an annoying habit of conducting fundraisers for literally an entire month, erasing normally scheduled programs in lieu of constant reruns of musical entertainment interrupted of course by pleas for additional funding.

I can understand the concept but not the execution.

Bottom line, I can’t watch my favorite PBS shows like “This Old House,” “Ask This Old House” and “Hometime,” much less more “educational” fare such as “This Week in Richmond.”

Call me selfish, or call me hooked on television, but I guess I’ve gotten lazy in my old age.

It’s enough to make me disavow the flat screen for the books now collecting dust in my bookcase, and believe me, there’re a lot of them.

Once an avid collector of hard cover works from Michener, Clancy and Grisham, my home is overflowing with the written word.

I count myself very lucky to have such a library at my disposal, but regrettably I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading, settling instead for channel grazing.

Like a lot of people, I disdain commercials of any sort and constantly flick through the menu to avoid them at any cost.

Even old network friends such as AMC have descended to commercial breaks during movies, another headache for your’s truly.

The old Springsteen song, “57 Channels and Nothing On,” is more like 800 now, and that sentiment still holds true.

Much like the old television commercial where the kids had the “fungries” and didn’t know what to eat, the same holds true when you have 800 channels and nothing to watch.

I was fortunate growing up in having the bookmobile stop in my driveway during the summer, and the smell of books has been ingrained in my brain ever since.

My parents also allowed me to join several book clubs ensuring a steady supply of reading material, especially during the summer.

Instead of looking for a ball field, I instead looked for the shade tree in my front yard where I could park my hammock.

There’s something about a book instead of the Kindle that I like, and hopefully the written word does not become a relic. 

Do you see a Kindle report in your future?  I hope not.