My personal preference for leisure reading is history, and also fiction - particularly historical fiction. But when I want to do light reading, or if I do not have the time to justify starting a longer work, I often read trivia books.
Down through the years, I have collected up quite a few trivia books. I have found that the great thing about a trivia book is that I do not have to finish it all at once. I can just leave a book mark and then pick back up later right where I left off. Unlike a novel, I need not remember anything I previously read.
Another great thing that I have discovered about trivia books is that they are often quite full of illustrative material for speaking and/or writing. I came across one such instance recently in an old paperback trivia book I had bought back when I was in college. I thought I would post it here today as an example.
Found on page 157 of The Book of Lists, #2, it reads as follows:
On May 2, 1962, a dramatic advertisement appeared in the San Francisco Examiner: "I don't want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for 10 years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication."
One of San Francisco's greatest attorneys, Vincent Hallinan, read or heard about the ad and contacted Gladys Kidd, who had placed it. Her husband, Robert Lee Kidd, was about to be tried for the slaying of an elderly antique dealer. Kidd's fingerprints had been found on a bloodstained ornate sword in the victim's shop.
During the trial, Hallinan proved that the antique dealer had not been killed by the sword, and that Kidd's fingerprints and blood on the sword got there because Kidd had once toyed with it while playfully dueling with a friend when they were both out shopping. The jury, after 11 hours, found Kidd to be not guilty. Attorney Hallinan refused Gladys Kidd's offer of 10 years' servitude.
From my perspective, this is a beautiful description of love. Gladys Kidd was willing to sacrifice 10 years of her life in order tro secure the freedom of her beloved husband.
It is also a picture of how much Jesus Christ loves us. When we were deemed guilty and facing punishment for our sin, Christ loved us so much that He willingly stepped forward and offered his life for ours!
Granted, Mr. Kidd was innocent to begin with. And granted also, that while his wife offered her service for his defense, she was not ultimately required to give it. Nonetheless, her effort on his behalf showed just how much she loved him.
Conversely, we are indeed guilty of sin! And Christ not only offered, but did indeed give His life for us to be forgiven! How much more then did He display truly sacrificial love on our behalf!
The Apostle Paul puts it this way in the New Testament Letter to the Romans (chapter 5, verse 6- 8):
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And that, my fiends is a true labor of love!
STORY SOURCE: Irving Wallace, David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, and Sylvia Wallace, The Book of Lists, #2 (New York: Bantam Publishing, 1980), p. 157.
SEE ALSO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Lists.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/niv/romans/5.htm.