intro {this bookman: meditations & miscellany}


photo credit: @theardentbiblio

All great books start with an introduction.

By now, I think it is safe to assume that you know that I love books. I love reading. I have read for as long as I can remember, and there is physical evidence to suggest that when I couldn’t read, I pretended to. I read to myself. I read to my sister, and before she was old enough to know what was really going on, I read (or pretended to read) to various stuffed animals and dolls.  They were excellent listeners – never interrupted or spoke a word.

But I also love words.  After all, as Francine Prose, in her book Reading Like a Writer articulates, “Words are the raw material out of which, literature is crafted.” More specifically, I love the precise definitions of a word.  My mom had a 1973 American Heritage Dictionary, this huge red volume from her high school years (which I hope she will give to me at some point). It had very few pictures but I loved poring over it, reading the meaning of all the words.  Now, I pore digitally, thanks to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary app. The effort, tough not the same, still brings similar results.

Why does a writer chose one word over another? What is he/she stating explicitly or implying (sometimes impishly) by the word choice? What do you think I’m telling you by the title of this series?

  • Bookman (noun): a person who has a love of books and especially of reading.
  • Meditations (noun): a discourse intended to express its author’s reflections or to guide others in contemplation.
  • Miscellany (noun): an unorganized collection or mixture of various things.

Anne Bogel, also known as Modern Mrs. Darcy, released her second book, I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life last month. This beautiful and sweet little volume’s especial charm lies in its ability to prompt the reader’s own reflection of their love of books and reading. As I was reading, I laughed out loud when Anne detailed the idiotic things we readers do. And I wept silently (Hubby and the Buddy Man were watching) as Anne words prompted me to I relive some of my own experiences.

Steve Jobs, paraphrasing Stratinsky and Faulkner said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal”. I hope not to literally steal Anne’s idea, but, her booking being my catalyst, I want to delve deeper into my own experiences.

Will I prompt you to intentionally select reading material to become more empathetic, better informed, and more aware (God knows we can use a little more of THAT right now)? Will I be able to guide you, as Anne guided me, to reflections on the meaning of the written word in your life. Will we laugh? Will we cry? Will we discover something along the way; more than we thought we already knew?  Let’s find out.

til tomorrow, enjoy life

Catch up on the rest of this series.

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