If You Aren’t Reading, You Aren’t Living
Way back in 2002, my friend Stephanie gifted me a t-shirt exactly like this
I wore it to concerts, and strangers would ask me what it meant. In other words, I’ve been blogging since before blogging was cool.
I’ve had a few sites over the years, chronicling my life’s adventures. It kept my writing muscles flexed and it was fun, but it wasn’t exactly fulfilling. Sometimes blogging feels like I’m throwing my content into a Black Hole that is The Internet.
A year ago, I actively made the decision to stop blogging. In a memoir writing workshop taught by a published author, I was warned that blogging often distracts a writer from her writing goals (for example, writing my memoir.) Initially I balked, (surely I could do both?) but then I realized she was right. I already knew my blog was using up my creative energy with little to no reward.
By reward, I don’t mean fame. What I seek by sharing my musings with the world is connection. My previous blog had hits, but rarely any comments. People would reach out to me privately to give me feedback, which I truly appreciate. You may think a writer’s goal is only to have readers, and I am thrilled to have some, but that’s not my priority. I want to engage with my readers and motivate them to have discussions with each other.
So I stopped blogging. At first it was a relief. The obligation to post regularly can become a burden at times. Work was using up my creative juices and maxing me out on daily screen time, so for a while it felt like the right choice. Then a funny thing happened, my readers began to notice and ask when I planned to post again. It turns out I missed blogging.
Every time I hang out with my friend Candice, something like this comes up:
Her: Are you planning to start blogging again soon?
Me: Not really…
Her: So have you written anything lately?
Her: Do you ever think about starting a new blog?
Me: Not really…
To be honest, it was Candice’s persistent encouragement that led to my idea for this new site.
In my social circle, I have become a go-to for book recommendations. It is not a role I take lightly. Not only does it mean the person obviously trusts my judgement and taste in books, but he/she is opening up and sharing a part of his/her self with me. When I recommend a book to a friend and she loves it, we bond. If she hates it, we have a deep discussion and bond over that.
By the time my friend Jess met up with me at the last library book sale, I already had a bag for her of titles I thought she would like. I expected she’d sort through and choose a couple but she went ahead and bought the whole bag. Now that’s trust!
My life experiences shape my reading experiences and vice versa. This is true for everyone. When we bond over books, we are bonding over life.
With this site, I hope to spark discussion on topics the average reader may not consider. I want to ask not only “Is this a good book?” but “Why is this a good book?” One of my favorite novels of all time is
My best bookish friend hates that book. Why? Because she’s a mom, it’s about a murdered child, and it hits a little too close to home. That makes sense. If we had ended our conversation after “I love that book,” and “Well I hate it,” we would have missed out an opportunity to get to know each other and launch a thoughtful conversation about motherhood.
Welcome to my site, and I hope you are inspired to not only read more, but to think about and discuss what you’re reading in a new way!