The Cool Kid's Guide to Reading: Getting to the bottom of the right way to read

I was about to start reading a new book, “Daemon” by Daniel Saurez.

But something didn’t feel right. Something felt rote.

Not the book -- although at some point, natch, it was wrote.

No. It was the way I was about to read it. Left to right, top to bottom.

I said to the Cool Kid, “What are you, a lemon? Are you gonna follow all the other lemons? Just troop mindlessly off the edge of the canted display case in the produce department at Kroger?”

“Huh?” the Cool Kid replied. He had been dozing.

“Are you some merry-andrew? Do you do the dance to make the man smile?”

“Whuh?” the Cool Kid said. He was having trouble following me. And since he was me, that meant I was having trouble following me.

But I’m used to that.

I pressed on.

“Are you really gonna read -- yet again -- left to right, top to bottom?”

The Cool Kid pondered. “The adult in me says reading that way made Western Civilization triumphant.”

I had him where I wanted him. “But what does the 2-year-old in you say?”

The Cool Kid roused like a mighty lion.

“I do what I want!” he roared.

“So, right to left and bottom to top this time?”


“You are so very cool.”


Later that day, several gazelles and goats in my neighborhood went missing.


In the thrilling conclusion to our two-part adventure (two parts because the Cool Kid remains crammed in a tiny sliver of space way, way, way in the back of The Telegraph) uhmm ... I’ve lost my train of thought here.

Let me start over.

In the thrilling conclusion to our two-part adventure, we discover what it’s like to read a book from right to left, bottom to top.

That’s right, O Best Ones. The Cool Kid did indeed read a book that way.


To contact writer Randy Waters, call 744-4240 or email