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|| News Item: Posted 2009-08-13

Leading Off: Sports Shooter's Summer Reading Edition
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter
I love to read.

From comic books to the stacks of newspapers at home growing up in Fresno, to The Sporting News to Baseball's Who's Who to LIFE to Modern Photography to books on history, cooking, science and yes, murder mysteries (the "classics" as I like to say are written by Robert B. Parker, James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly) I love to read.

So when my good friend Matt Mendelsohn suggested that the Sports Shooter Newsletter have a Summer Reading Issue I was all for it. And when Matt sent me a draft of a 10,000 word story he was writing on the a young woman who battled back from bulimia and then the loss of her arms and legs to teach at a Virginia university, this issue was born.

Reading to me is more than word on a page ... or a screen. I know, I know --- I have been editing and publishing an INTERNET newsletter for over 12 years (and helped bring it to the web over seven years ago). But there is something about holding a story, newspaper, book or magazine in your hands. Turning the pages. Dog ear'ing a spot to hold your place. Reading is something beyond just your eyes taking in the words.

It's an experience.

When I got the final copy of Matt's story, I printed it out, including the photographs he sent to accompany it when it posted on Maybe I have been doing most of my "serious reading" while laying down on the couch, but I just couldn't read this on a computer screen ... or for that matter my iPhone.

Photo by

The original Sports Shooter Newsletter on the Internet in 1999.
Lots has been made about the demise of the printed word; computers and the Internet are pointed to as the biggest reason. But I think it goes a little beyond our lack-of-attention-span-Facebook-YouTube-quickcut age. I think a lot of people have fallen out of love with reading.

Good reading takes time, commitment and some concentration.

So I hope you'll accept my little departure with this issue and to use a term I used to end all of my columns with: Sit back, adjust that monitor and enjoy this (very special) issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter!

* * *

In addition to Matt Mendelsohn's story on Lindsay Ess, I collected several other features that I felt really fit in with this special Summer Reading issue of Sports Shooter.

Hannah Foslien contributes a personal account of a portfolio review she received years ago that stays with her to this day. Adam Lau writes this month's Sports Shooter Destinations on his wild experience on an "anti-whaling, South Pole-sailing, eco-pirate ship" for four months in the Antarctic. Rick Rickman recounts getting his new book The Wonder Years from idea to the printed page. And Chicago White Sox photographer Ron Vesely gives us a very interesting look behind the scenes of covering one of the rarest accuracies in baseball: The perfect game.

Thanks to our sponsors Roberts Distributors, Adorama and Samy's Camera for their support in all things Sports Shooter.

* * *

On the reading table this week is a fascinating book by prolific sports writer John Feinstein Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major ( Heavy rotation on my playlist is Carl Perkins' The Complete Sun Record Singles ( Must-see for August is The Hurt Locker --- a wild ride of a film about a bomb disposal team working in Iraq (

As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Rod Mar, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen, Paul Myers, Myung J. Chun, Jared Dort and Bob Deutsch.

Thanks this month to: Matt Mendelsohn, Hannah Foslien, Adam Lau, Ron Ron Vesely and Rick Rickman.

The comments, opinions and other nutty statements that the writers may have expressed, implied, imagined or made up are theirs and theirs alone. Sports Shooter, Inc. and published these articles in good faith with the purpose of education and inspiration.

Permission in writing must be obtained from Sports Shooter, Inc. and the author of the article before being reprinted.

I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

The Sports Shooter Archives as well as tons of cool resources and information can be accessed through the Internet at

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