This quote appeared in the side bar when I published my first post for this blog and immediately grabbed my attention. I guess it appeared because some cookies in my browser alerted wordpress.com to my love of reading and philosophy and Emerson. Whatever reason, it seemed perfectly timed to me because the next page I wanted to develop for this blog was one to track my reading. When I was trying to think about what kind of blog to write I asked Caleb his thoughts. He said I should build it around my two loves: reading and baking. What can I say, this guy gets me. I am going to take his suggestion to heart and incorporate both topics into this blog, but add in a third love too (the most important)– sharing life with him. He is the muse for my musings. [smile] Anyway back to our topic today, courtesy of Mr. Emerson, CREATIVE READING.
Emerson’s words resonate a truth universally understood by those who have discovered the joy of reading– reading and writing are linked in their shared identity as creative acts. In a world in which we are bombarded by carefully constructed images, reading offers a respite from these images created for us and encourages us to take on the creative act for ourselves. By taking on the role of image makers, we are reflecting what I think is the divine spark, the imago dei, the image of our creator. Reading is such a deeply spiritual act and I’m of the persuasion that the spiritual act isn’t necessarily diminished by what we are reading, well at the very least the spiritual act of reading isn’t limited to only reading religious material or sacred writings. Personally I have a short list of books that I credit with changing my life in some way and for alerting me to some universal truth and most of them are novels– Pride and Prejudice, Miss Rumphius, The Life of Pi, Journey to the East and The Snow Child… to name a just a few.
So I hold a high philosophy of reading, but that doesn’t mean that I only read books that I think will bring me some new truth. That’s not to say that I’m not very selective about what I read. I can spend and have spent hours in a book store searching for that perfect book, but I also think you’re not going to always know what books have to reveal. The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” sticks around because it speaks the truth. When I read I’m looking to be entertained and captured by a story and I’m looking to connect with the vision of another member of this awesome human race.
On this blog, I hope to chronicle my reading by sharing reviews of the books I read. I don’t know if what I like to read will appeal to those of you out there reading, but maybe it will. The “Creative Reading” tab above will provide links to the relevant blog posts about reading. I’m also always up for suggestions about what I should read next. Even though it can be done by yourself, I think reading is also a communal activity. When I lived in Louisiana, I was fortunate enough to live a short walk from the local library that had an active book club. Reading books with those sweet women, even when it was a book I didn’t love, was one of my greatest joys of living in that community. I’d love to join another book club when we move or maybe even figure out a way to start a book club with my friends living in other places. What could a long-distance/online book club look like? If you have any ideas, let me know.