Way back in 2005 I read on a listserv somewhere, most likely via a dial up connection, about something called a blog.
I immediately signed up on blogger, posted a picture of my dog, and then called my friend to inform her of my escapade. I put something on the internet! She could see it, too!
“So?” she asked me. “What are you supposed to do with this?”
“Anything!” was my excited reply. And I meant it.
But I didn’t do anything. I did everything. I deleted that image and that blog and then moved to another. I had a homeschooling blog wherein I posted sentimental closeup images of my children being studious. Pretending to be the other bloggers, however unintentionally.
And then this blog popped up and evolved into a sort of book review – although I realize now I can’t do that – be that – anymore.
Of course I’ll still be reading. Of course.
I’ll go back to being my old reading self.
The change has been long in coming. I’ve been holed up in my cocoon, avoiding the blog because I’m avoiding the reviews. I don’t enjoy writing them. Recently, however, I borrowed a copy of Anne Fadiman’s delightful collection of essays, Ex Libris, (Amazon, Library) from my local library.
Her essays were delightful. From “Insert a Caret” in which she chronicles the proofreading habits of her family, to “My Ancestral Castles” in where in she discusses the benefits of building castles with books. Of course, it is the books that are building you. It is the books that are building me. And this is what I want to chronicle. This is where the “epiphanies of beauty” lie.
They are nestled within the pages of the book and found at exactly the moment when Providence causes yours reading glance to take in that line, that phrase, that conversation, that story at exactly the right minute. That is, when that story fits your story.
That’s what interests me about books. What are the secrets they contain? What are the truths that they display? None? So be it – that is a truth, too.
I’m returning to the old habit of sitting with a book, taking notes, and then taking pause. I’ll be savoring the books as they become a part of me and laying them aside without guilt. No more mandatory reading of complimentary titles. No more worrying about whether this book or that book is a “good” book and convincing you to buy it. Or being silent when I think you shouldn’t.
I’m leaving the caterpillar world of eating through books. I’ve cocooned long enough.
I’m returning – hopefully without too much nasal gazing – to cataloging those rare and glorious moments, those epiphanies of beauty.