Friday, September 14, 2012

Reading Notes - on reading, books, and a blogging policy

I've been thinking . . . 

Literature, stories, and books of all kinds, both fiction and non, are essential to making us better as individuals and as a society. We can't possibly get out of our own heads and into anyone else's any other way. It's a miracle, really. It's a way of confirming that we are all so similar in different ways and different in similar ways. Books shouldn't be just good-for-you, uplifting, warm-and-fuzzy stories, but complex and exhausting ones too. I am a firm believer in the enduring relevance of literature, old or new, celebrated or condemned. It is this variety that keeps us balanced. Which is not to say I will read and appreciate everything, I won't and I don't. An author's style often gets in the way of my connection with a book and that is no one's issue but my own, no apologies or justifications necessary. Fiction and non fiction, both historical and contemporary, are the genres I am most drawn to. I also enjoy memoirs and travelogues. 

I love the feel, look, weight, and smell of physical, paper-bound books (and don't even get me started on the old leather or cloth-bound ones) and will try to keep ebooks at bay for the time being. They have a place, I'm sure, but I will do what I can to promote and preserve paper books as they are simply so beautiful in so many ways. As a forty-something woman, I feel rather late to the party. Books have always been in my life, but an actual, persistent appreciation for them has only just dawned on me in recent years. Why only now? I don't know. It probably has something to do with middle-age and the realization that there is still so much I want to know and learn about people, things, places, and events, and so little time in which to do it. The fact that I will never catch up with my reading is both frustrating and thrilling.

Having said all that, it's fun to know I'm not alone in my love of books and reading. I often get requests to share my content, images and quotes and whatnot, and to that I say, Yes! Please do. I only ask that the relevant sources be credited, or at least a link back to here, which I think is fair as I strive to do the same. If the writing and photos are my own then, of course, I would appreciate being credited and linked. Likewise, if you see something here that belongs to you or has been wrongly credited then please let me know so I can either correct it or take it down. 

My reviews are just my thoughts on a book, its story, setting and characters, and how it left me feeling rather than any formal, academic parsing of plot lines; I figure there are plenty of those types of reviews still around, if that's what you're looking for. As for me, I am more focused on books for the pleasures of reading, thinking about, and sharing.

I sometimes receive books for review from publishers but I can't, at present, accept ebooks as I don't have an ereader. Time constraints prevent me from accepting direct offers from authors, author interviews, and giveaways. 


Debbie Rodgers said...

The fact that I will never catch up with my reading is both frustrating and thrilling.

As a fifty-something, I get the 'frustrating', but I'm struggling with the 'thrilling'. (?)

Trish said...

What's thrilling is knowing I will never run out of books to read ;)