Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A refusal to let sleeping blogs lie.

I like to think of myself as a person who values variety. But this is really just a kinder way of saying that I have a short attention span.

I crave a bit of mixy-mix in work and creativity, and I like pondering a few ideas or projects at once, pausing to switch gears whenever I need to clear the fuzz. This is the reason that I usually have between three and ten books on the go at any given time (you just never know what you're going to feel like reading at any moment. The book you read on a long car trip is not the same book you read while you eat sushi on your lunch break or the one you try -- and fail -- to read two hasty pages of before you fall asleep).

It's also the reason that I've found myself with a firm handful of reading resolutions this year, instead of just a couple. Last year, I really stuck with two: to read sixty books (just scraped in with a couple of days to spare) and to read more books in translation. Both things happened, but overall my reading felt very unintentional -- like something that happened to me, rather than something I was measured and thoughtful about. Of course, you can't help but think about the books you read -- you can't help but be changed by them. And I did read some lovely ones in 2014. However, it all felt just a little haphazard.

With that thought nudging me forward, my overarching reading goal in 2015 is really just to be more intentional about what and how I read. I'm not a hundred percent certain what this even looks like, except that I know I want to read books that are outside my comfort zone, books that I'm not naturally drawn to, books that might be a hard slog but a good investment. I have a bunch (too many, really) of practical, measurable ways I want to do this. They look like less vague and more "real" resolutions, and I'll write further about those soon.

However, I also know that I'd like to read more thoughtfully. To me, this means possibly reading less, but reading more deeply. It also means making more of an effort to consider what I'm reading, to frame my own responses into words -- essentially, to not just take in, but also (for better or for worse) to respond to what I'm writing. And that's why I've pulled this blog from whatever pixellated shelf it was hiding on, gathering dust mites (dust bytes? hyuck hyuck), and brushed away what is apparently more than two years of disuse.

Hello 2012, remember us? We're back, it's 2015, and we love books and words more than ever.