Friday, September 26, 2014


When I started this project, back in January, I really failed to take into account a few of the realities that would make it difficult. Not least among these is the fact that I cannot stop buying books. The intent of the project was to whittle down my collection of unread books as I prepared to move out of my parent's house. Noble, certainly, but completely ridiculous as I failed to take into account how I had acquired them in the first place- that is, constantly and with glee. Imagine cackling and achy smile muscles because those are the facts. As the book hauls continued, I lost count of how many books were on the list and I continued to accumulate volumes far faster than I read them. Then, there were all of the books I borrowed from other people and... you get the idea. 

Still, I would in no way consider this effort a failure. Over the past several months, through the influence of the books I have forced myself to read (Toni Morrison's "Beloved", Ray Bradbury's short stories, Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", David Sedaris, and other non-fiction that I may otherwise have shied from) and more seriously seeking out resources such as writers on twitter, the Diversity in Fiction movement, and the amazing Book Riot podcast, I have begun to frame my reading as a "reading life". It has always been that, a separate feeling existence that informs my character and real-world responses, but I had never thought of it that way. There is a lot of power in simply changing the way you name a thing and, consequently, look at the thing. I am now more aware of striking the fine balance between reading things that I simply don't want to read and still managing to read widely and deeply. I feel more responsibility for what I consume and who it is by and how it affects my perspective. But this has not limited me at all. If anything, I am more hungry than I have ever been. The writing itch has returned. There is eagerness and inspiration and I do not forget to look at the night sky so often. One needs to be reminded.

I just finished Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer. While it wades in ambiguous waters a little too often, the heart of the work still comes across. Read because you are hungry and then use it to feed others. Study art to create art. Study art to create the life you are capable of. Stay hungry and create your own opportunities to come to the table. Be comfortable with knowing little so that you never run the risk of thinking you know anything at all, because that would be truly limiting. 

I am going to continue to maintain this blog, even if no one else reads it, because I want to remember and to share this hour of my life and how what I am reading is keeping the light on. May that light always bring people to a home filled with books. Anyway, I should definitely be working on my TBR list... all 1,199 of them.