How we learn-Any which way!

During the first 30 years of my life, I wasn’t a book reader on any subject of note, whether it was the classics, biographies or fiction. At the time I had convinced myself learnings would only come from practical experiences. The folly of my ways increasingly became evident as I mixed in business, social environments struggling with limited conversational skills at my disposal.

I realised I  needed to be better read but I did not immediately rush out and immerse myself in a number of books, it seems that my level of focus could not be altered easily although it was obvious that I needed to absorb knowledge even by an alternative means.

My solution to this predicament initially came in the form of tuning into news bulletins, radio programs and the odd newspaper my curiosity did not come from my  daily dose of the London Times, more likely by searching the good old paper the Daily Mirror as was the tradition of generations of my family.

The turning point was not really a direct action by me, purely a simple error by our local paperboy who mistakenly deposited of the London Sunday Times on our front step: a rather weighty tome where injury could easily be sustained to one’s back by just picking it up.

Although I said previously I had very little focus when it came to reading matter it did not mean I was not inquisitive, In fact, it was a major part of my nature.

Delving into its many pages with its various sections, I was enthralled and an hour passed by in the blink of an eye and cursed under my breath how previously I had been and was operating in my own personal vacuum of ignorance.

From that day a metamorphosis occurred I gorged on a whole range of publications, including economics, politics and world and social affairs, gaining a deeper understanding of a plethora of subjects, the result being I was able to hold my own in most business and social situations.

I can reveal to readers, my capacity to undertake this mammoth task was not my ability to speed read (something my father was capable of doing, completing some six books in a week). It actually included my inability to focus my attention any great length of time. To counteract this I be able to absorb the main purpose of the material and pick out salient points, not necessarily completing the whole text.

Some years a colleague of mine was heard to comment” I have never yet encountered a person such as Ken who is able to carry so much information and trivia in his head yet that in fact, he has at best a fleeting knowledge of a subject but able to impress others when he speaks”.

He was “spot on” although I think I have managed to improve my attention span to allowing greater understanding and depth in my reading attempts over the years.

This present day we are blessed with so many opportunities to absorb knowledge, whether it is books, publications and other media streams such as the Internet. No matter what medium one chooses to adopt, it brings with it, awareness, deepens understanding, can bring pleasure and most important of all it educates. Long may it continue to enrich our lives’?

There is no doubt my life has been enhanced by this strange gift for which I am forever grateful.


These holidays I embark on a major task. My intent is to read two books on the life of Lord Nelson totalling over 2000 page s (delivered this morning from London).

Wish me Luck!!

Best wishes for the season and 2018

Ken Wood