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DEAR ABBY: The first time you quoted "The Reading Mother," I meant to write to you; when you did it again today, I decided I would not fail this time.

Why not a reading father? My three sons received bedtime readings from the time they were small until almost through high school. I, their father, was the reader; I love books, and I enjoyed the material at least as much as they did.

We got through the Alice books, "Gulliver's Travels," "Huckleberry Finn," "Lord of the Rings," and scores of others.

I was in medical school and psychiatric residency training during many of these years, and the hours spent reading to my children were a welcome relief to me, as well as an introduction to the world of literature to them.

I recommend reading aloud to children of all ages by either parent. -- ROB HARDY, CHIEF, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, R.A.F., LAKENHEATH, UNITED KINGDOM

DEAR DR. HARDY: I am printing your letter in the interest of fairness to those fathers who read to their children. Although their numbers may not be as great as mothers, they deserve to be counted.

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