Monday, September 21, 2015
Off the Shelf
I keep telling myself it's time to get back to reading. This time, I really mean it.
No matter how much I wanted to do so in the past, my best intentions hadn't really worked. But this time around, I'm making it a priority to carve out the time to read.
Why? It's been such a boost, in so many ways, since finishing the book that kicked me back on the reading track. I feel like something woke up my brain. The same-old-same-old takes on a new perspective. I find myself thinking more creatively, especially on parallel tracks. Mentally energized. Just by absorbing what other people think. It's like being part of a great after-dinner conversation, every time I open the cover of the next book I'm starting.
Of course, it helped to stumble upon some inspiration for turning back to reading. Books really can make a difference in people's lives. Perhaps that's why one woman—American social entrepreneur Claire Diaz-Ortiz—keeps up with her well-publicized goal of reading two hundred books a year. Yes. Two hundred.
I'll grant that it was during a vacation trip that I found the time to read a book—but it was really during the end caps of that week when I got the chance to do the reading on the plane, traveling in each direction.
Since then, I've opened up the cover of another book I had long promised myself I would read. The time-gift granting me that opportunity was dull, boring jury duty—you know, that interminable part where you languish in the jury assembly room, waiting for your name to be called.
What's good about my new resolution is that I've got a backlog of books, queued up and ready for me to pull off the shelf. I have eclectic tastes; I assure you those are not all genealogy books. But there are still a great many in that stash which are tales from other people's family histories.
When it comes time to finish one of those family history books, I want to do two things. First, I want to write a blog entry reflecting on an aspect of what I've learned in that specific book. After all, you, too, may have long promised yourself to read that very book. Second, I want to become more socially conscious and share my critique in those online resources just clamoring for readers to write a review. If you've ever bought a book via Amazon or through Barnes & Noble online, you know what I mean. When we share our viewpoint on our purchasing experiences, we encourage others just like us to follow suit.
After all, if it weren't for someone else's critique, I'd never have known to read the book that got this all started for me.
Above: "The Reader," oil on canvas by French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard circa 1770; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.