Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stop and think. (on reading and writing).

For a while I took a break from reading. I think I was exhausted and burnt out and drowning in words, and I needed to come up for air. Which is not to say I didn't read anything, I did - mysteries and romances and fashion magazines and food magazines. Nothing sustaining, nothing lasting. This state of affairs lasted more than a year, maybe two. And then one day, I'm not sure when or how, I started reading again. I had just turned twenty-five. It started slowly, with Bukowski's Post Office, and just sort of went on from there. Gradually my visits to the bookstore increased (as did my midnight internet book-shopping binges), and after I had flipped through that week's People and Us Weekly I would wander around looking for books I had always meant to read, and finding new ones I had never heard of. I fell in love with new writers, came back to old friends. And then I started to write.

I have been writing in this blog for almost two months now, at least one post a day. I find I cannot stop, any more than I can stop buying books and reading them. I am surprised by how easily the words come, how easy it is to stop and think about what I have read, to write about what I have read, recently or in years past, to stop myself and realize why I am reading, how I am moved by what I read, to dive into the heart of my thoughts on literature, to understand more about everything I love most. Originally I was going to focus more on cooking and eating. Somehow it didn't quite work out that way, and then I suddenly realized that literature matters more to me than food does, which I didn't think was possible. (It is, however, a very slim margin).

What drives me to keep writing is the fact that I keep reading, that I keep finding new books that help me return and rediscover old ones. That when I sit (or lie) down to type I suddenly find a way to sort through my thoughts and feelings on the words I have just read, ideas begin to take shape, become clearer. A few people have been kind enough to leave comments, which taught me that there are at least some people who have stumbled upon this page, however that came about, and that there are people who seem to understand my jumbled and tangled and incoherent thoughts, and it means more to me than words can say. I mean to continue wandering through this eternal, endless garden of interlocking paths that is literature, and writing about the adventures I find there...

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