Through the Reading Glasses April 2020

By Janet Moore

As a former English major and educator, I’ve always had an affinity for and an ease with literature – as my kids would say, “Well, duh…” Yes well, for whatever reason, the older I get, the more I like to read non-fiction and tackle the subjects that used to stymie me in school.

Science and math and economics now interest me; so, I try to plow through enlightening books. James Gleick’s “Chaos” nearly did me in, but I enjoyed the struggle. “Cliff Study Guide’s Algebra I” keeps me occupied on long summer evenings when I try to put numbers in order to organize my scattered brain. Lately, though, I have succumbed to economics and finance, which present their own foreign languages, and it is slow going, but here’s where I began.

“Economics for Dummies” is just plain fun, but it’s going to be a long term project. My older daughter assures me that once I master the language, concepts like “deriving demand curves from diminishing marginal utility” will make perfect sense. When the concepts are explained using food-pizza slices, anyone? – they do, sort of. But I think I might skip to Chapter 18 tonight: ”Grasping Origins and Effects of Financial Crises,” which brings me to the other book,  “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.”

The daughter and two others suggested I tackle Malkiel’s reader-friendly walk through the financial markets and sound investing. This is not bedtime reading; this is chocolate in hand, be prepared to laugh, scribble in the margins reading. By next April, I will surely be older and maybe a little wiser in the ways of economics and finance; just don’t ask me to explain anything!