A movie Insider must watch at least once around this time of year is “A Christmas Carol,” and it has to be the original in black-and-white, not all the knock-offs over the years. For those who don’t know, all the movies stem from the famous Charles Dickens short story. When the movie is more popular than the book, people often forget where its inspiration came from. Insider makes sure to credit Dickens for the wonderful work of fiction. The old guy’s favorite must-see flick was directed by Edwin Marin and was released back in 1938, according to the back of the VHS tape in his trusty library collection of favorites. Other holiday favorites firmly entrenched on his bookshelf include “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Meet John Doe” and “The Bishop’s Wife.”
Insider has always considered himself a reader. In recent years, as he has developed more problems with his eyes, the amount of time he spends reading has dropped off and is now significantly overwhelmed by television watching. He’s now much more of a viewer than a reader. He still spends a half hour or so a night reading in bed before he calls a day. Oftentimes, it’s a book he has read years ago. On his nightstand today is Richard Adams’ “Watership Down”, which he first read back in the 1970s. Insider has found it just as intriguing this time around as back then, partially because he does not remember the details. Plus, he has always like rabbits.
The main reason the reading has fallen off is Insider’s eyes. The type’s point size in most published books is simply too small for the old guy. Even when the point is adequate, the fancy font used by the publisher makes it difficult. The fact is the old guy is getting older and his eyesight is feeling the effects of years and years of reading and straining. Even on good days when the eyes are cooperating, a headache develops when he reads too much and that’s no good. It’s probably because of the strength of the lens in his glasses.
A few years ago, Insider turned to TV to take up the hours he used to spend reading. The old guy often pulls out his trusty cable programming cable and looks for movies made from books he has read in his life. He likes trying to pick up on where the movie differs from the book. It’s tough because old age blurs the details, but there are some movies that make it easier than others. It’s a great hobby for an old cynic.