From Our Readers
I have just read your articles on comic books in your Portuguese edition. (English, June 22, 1983) I found them marvelous. I am a writing teacher and last month I gave the class an assignment that involved reading comic books. The most excitable and rowdy children devoured those with violence, whereas the quieter ones chose those of light humor. For more than half an hour the 41 children read in absolute silence, completely absorbed in their reading, something impossible to attain with other subjects. I began to wonder about the extent to which this kind of reading might be useful or harmful to them. Your articles confirmed my anxiety. I am deeply grateful for the counsel given, especially to parents.
A. M. R., Brazil
We very much appreciated your article “Africa’s River of Superlatives” and learned many things from it. (August 8, 1983) However, why is it stated that the Nile is the world’s longest river? We consulted several dictionaries and they all show the Amazon to be the longest, extending over 7,025 kilometers (4,365 mi)?
B. B., France
While authorities vary somewhat as to the actual length of the two rivers, they generally give the length of the Nile as a little more than 4,100 miles (6,600 km), whereas the length of the Amazon is given as over 3,900 miles (6,280 km) or less than 4,000 miles (6,440 km). The Amazon is the world’s largest river, based on the quantity of water that flows down it. The figure of 4,365 miles (7,025 km) that you have found is likely based on considering the Apurímac River, a tributary of the Amazon, as the true headstream of the Amazon. A similar situation would occur if one considered the Missouri River to be the true headstream of the Mississippi River. This would increase the length of the Mississippi River from 2,350 miles (3,780 km) to 3,858 miles (6,210 km).—ED.
Thank you so much for the timely article “Young People Ask . . . Are Romance Novels Harmless Reading?” (November 8, 1983) A couple of months prior to reading this, I began to realize I was becoming addicted to these novels. What started out as occasional reading turned into my reading as many as three a week. I found my study habits were slipping, I wasn’t praying as often, and home duties were getting neglected. I developed a yearning for some of the nicer things in a material sense that the world could offer and a discontentment with what I did have. Your article helped me to see where I could have ended up had I continued.
E. R., Kentucky
I have just recently read your article “Young People Ask . . . Does It Matter What I Read?” (December 22, 1983) It has helped me a lot. I have been reading my sister’s romance novels, and I think they have been affecting me. Now I’m reading the Bible more. I really thank you for writing this and many other articles. I am 11 years old. Thank you.
J. L., Colorado