Who has time to read? I do

A few weeks ago, I purchased two books at the Elmvale Flea Market for two bucks.

A toonie in total. For my non-Canadian readers, that’s a two-dollar coin.

The vendor put the books in a shopping bag and said, “I hope you enjoy those.”



It used to be the flea market had several displays of used books, table after table and box after box. Mostly popular fiction by Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Stephen King, Dan Brown as well as Twilight and Harry Potter.

And Fifty Shades of whatever.

On this day, maybe a few vendors remained. The pickings were pretty slim and it made me think, do people read much anymore?

Not on Facebook.

Who has time to read what they are reposting? So much easier to find a meme or suspicious (well, not to them) link and exclaim, OMG, look at this! I’m so outraged. I have no idea what it really means or if it’s real but it supports my views.

Holy hell.

In the summer of 1981 I was working in the mail room of Pilot Insurance in Toronto. I spent my lunch hours in the company lounge and to my delight, Pilot had a collection of books. I’d become a Stephen King fan and lo and behold, Salem’s Lot was on the shelf.

I was 19. A female coworker old enough to be my mother said she’d never seen a teenager that was such an avid reader.

And, if you’re a King fan, you know he regards his fans as “constant readers.”

Go back a few years prior and my Dad was shocked to discover Erica Jong’s “Fear of Flying” in my bedroom. He hadn’t read it, of course. It was scandalous at the time, featuring Jong’s “zipless fuck.” I was 17. Any kind of fuck would have been much appreciated.

Dad became aware of FOF through Newsweek. He had a subscription. I read about Jong’s controversial novel in that same magazine, saw it in a used book store and thought it might be worth buying.

It was.

Long before Youporn and even VCRs, many of us young lads were, um, inspired by the written word when we weren’t checking out the Playboy collections hidden by our friend’s dads in dressers or under the mattresses.

Stephen King wrote in men’s magazines like Cavalier before he hit it big with “Carrie.”

Though I didn’t really read Playboy “for the articles”until my college years.


By the way, the two books I took home from Elmvale were murder mysteries and I highly recommend both.

‘Piece of My Heart,” by Peter Robinson, and Val McDermid’s “The Grave Tattoo.”

I’m often annoyed by the “share if you agree” posts, surveys and lists on Facebook. Many are clickbait. No value to you, but someone thousands of miles away gets a few bucks for your viewings and repostings.


My cousin Vincent Knowles circulated one about books we’ve found important or inspiring. So here’s one of mine. Read it as a teenager, loved the movie version as well.

So…let’s take a U-turn back to Facebook.

It used to be the only way to express your opinion to the general public was through a letter to the editor in a local or national newspaper. They decided if your take on things was worthy of publishing and called you to verify that you were who you said you were.

Now, any lout has a voice.

The Town of Wasaga Beach holds an annual Remembrance Day event the week prior to November 11th. Why? Because Wasaga doesn’t have a legion branch and the legion in Stayner puts on an additional ceremony to salute the beach’s veterans and their families. They don’t have the resources to hold events on the same day so let me repeat, it’s an EXTRA event.

But that didn’t stop some brainless twit ranting on Facebook about how wrong it was for the town to NOT have an event on 11/11 (the town library does its own event on the actual day).

And…maybe you knew this was coming? They blamed Justin Trudeau.

Read. Fucking read. Anything.

I’m captivated by the HBO’s, “Sharp Objects,” starring Amy Adams. Love that turned up nose (and everything below it). Became aware of the series online and eagerly anticipated it because I had read the book.

Written by Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl” and a novel that would likely be an even better miniseries, “Dark Places.”

Flynn was a writer for Entertainment Weekly and you know who’s letter to the editor was accepted by EW?


I was defending Canadian actors and singers though I may have taken a shot at Celine Dion. Her career went on.

However, Joseph O’Mara (my Dad) had a letter to the editor published in the Toronto Star way back in in the ’70s when Justin’s Father was the Prime Minister.





About johnnymaraca

sole proprietor of Maraca Media, former radio host (Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot), copywriter and producer and a print journalism grad.
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