Intense concentration in a reader is “present mindedness somewhere else”
To answer the unspoken question- why book reviews- my chosen epithet is, so many books, so little time. Since my earliest memory, books have framed my life. Being a serious reader is almost by modern definition to be a rebel in a technologically driven society. Yet, a serious reader is who I am, and who I will remain.
Books continue our centuries long literary conversations. Reviewing books is a way to share society’s inexhaustible enthusiasm for language. Books not only can but always do have an impact on the reader. In engaged reading, there is an on-going dialogue with the author.
Reading is also dialogue with oneself. With pen in hand, I mark memorable passages with a question mark, ponder point or emphatic yes. If a borrowed book sparks my mind, I buy it. I reason the author is due compensation and besides, libraries prefer their books unmodified. While I have at times kept a reading journal, it fails to compare with the rather fascinating adventure of pondering one’s own mind in personally annotated books. These tangible memories, where I expressed my heart and soul struggles, often connect me to both specific books and transforming life experiences. Books long ago became “a wonder to my nature and each a keepsake of inestimable value.”*
It is my hope that we may discover shared keepsakes for living a life in crescendo.
*The Joy of Books, Eric Burns