By Joanne Rock
|Thank you for visiting the blog!|
Today’s post was inspired by a blog post at Broke by Books, after I went looking for new ways to entertain you. (I do try.) I read a post about potential topics for blogging to a bookish community, and one of the suggestions was to write your Reading Manifesto. I was intrigued.
Of course, my first thought was that I don’t have one. I read so widely and eclectically, what could I possibly have to say that wasn’t too broad and general? Yet, the idea niggled. I went back and read the prompt more carefully, and Sarah, the author of the piece, suggested writing about “your identity as a reader, your challenges and personal missions, values, and where you see yourself in the reading world.”
Surely I could do that. So here goes…
As a reader, I am interested in fiction and non-fiction alike. I started reading to entertain myself, but educate myself. I took out mountains of non-fiction books, studying broad topics like ballet or western art, then narrowing my focus to art movements I liked. I studied wines for a summer in middle school (why, I wonder? And what did my parents think of all my books on wine making?) and was obsessed with learning as many pantheons as possible once I discovered the Greeks and Romans didn’t have a monopoly on interesting gods.even in grade school, I turned to the library to
|The Christmas gift I lobbied for last year.|
For long stretches at a time, fiction took a backseat to my need to learn. And to this day, I still believe in scooping up lots of non-fiction for learning in the most fun way I know. Last year, for Christmas, I asked my husband for a copy Vatican: All the Paintings by Anja Grebe. It’s a gorgeous book that I keep at the breakfast bar, where I learn about the Borgia-commissioned artworks over my bowl of Lucky Charms.
My biggest personal challenge as a reader is the loss of brick and mortar stores. I really miss easy access to a huge bookstore. I love browsing the shelves to see what’s out and what other people are buying. It’s a different experience than a library and I miss it. However, one of my great reading joys has comforted me in the last ten years as bookstores declined. At the same time, my book club world opened up and I’ve learned a lot about the books I’ve read by sharing them with friends and talking about them afterward.
|Tonight's dinner inspiration|
My fiction reading serves whole other purposes, providing escape, adventure and greater understanding of human nature. I can’t imagine a life without books. My inner world is a place that comforts me when the real world lets me down. I lose myself in books. I learn from books. I explore new worlds in books. Even for the most practical of chores—like cooking dinner tonight—I open up a cookbook for inspiration.
There you have it, friends… my reading manifesto. Tell me what kinds of books populate your reading shelf and I’ll give one random poster a copy of my holiday romance 2-1 with Tawny Weber, Undercover Festivities.