When I first set up this website, it was to share my book, events, and services with fellow readers. On the question of keeping a blog, I was … conflicted.
I share my thoughts on books and authors on Books, Ink, the book and author news website I edit in Connecticut. Would keeping a blog be redundant? How would it be different from what I already do? What would the point be?
Other than the obvious difference that my blog isn’t about sharing local news related to books and authors, I didn’t know all the answers to those questions when I decided to include a blog.
I know that what motivated me to keep a blog is the idea of documenting my reading life in all its forms, which includes reading books (of course) but so much more. The “more” gets a whole chapter in my book, but I’m not as diligent about recording, for others and myself, the ways being a reader shapes my life on the daily.
I’m thinking, for example, about how I spent a large part of Saturday and Sunday reading Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux because I needed to recharge, and reading beautiful books does that for me. Spending a day reading can, for me, be therapeutic. It’s about reconnecting with my thoughts and myself, connecting with the larger world of ideas, and allowing myself to linger in an art experience, or just a great story.
I’m thinking, also, about how the book I’m currently reading, Turkey Day Murder by Leslie Meier, is calling my name. I am itching to pick it up and telling myself I’ll read just one chapter. But I doubt I’ll be able to stick to that because Turkey Day Murder is – you probably won’t be surprised to hear this – a murder mystery, and murder mysteries tempt me to keep reading another chapter and another to see how the story will unfold. So I’m resisting the temptation to read but also can’t fully concentrate on anything else because I keep thinking about the characters and where the story will take them.
Writing about these reading experiences isn’t the same as writing about the book itself, its merits and ideas. It’s not about writing Book Reviews, per se, but connecting with other readers, even when we’re not reading the same books and even when we don’t enjoy the same books. What connects us is finding meaning and purpose and pleasure in stories. What connects us is that common thread of being bookish, and this is what I wanted my blog to explore.
I still may not know exactly what that looks like, but I will keep trying to figure it out.