Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Reading Manifesto

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…

The Olympians
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.


Anita Hayes said...

Don't put me in the contest as I already have, have read and loved both those stories in that book. However, My bookshelf and tbr piles are quite the variety. I have Napoleon Hills Think and Grow Rich, Louisa May Alcott, Ian Fleming, many many romance, steamy romance and mystery romance. I have about 40 favorite authors and always find new ones too. I have a lot of Personal development books too (Go Pro, Your a Badass and many others). I have Louis Lamour, lots of writing books, craft books, sewing books, gardening books, do it yourself books. All in all, there has to be over 2000 books here and some date back to the 40's.

dstoutholcomb said...

You don't have to count me for the contest, either.

I mostly have romance (contemporary and historical), but I also have cozy mysteries, some historical fiction, and art books/coffee table books. One of my favorites is of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I love his pre-raphaelite art! I lucked out and mine is a signed copy from the author who complied the book. It was bought at the Delaware Art Museum when a lot of Rossetti and other pre-raphaelite art is on display. I also have book on Nagel (think of the DuranDuran album covers of the 80s). My taste is all over the place. In college my friend and I were on a trip to NY (art-class related at UD), and he bought nice print at an art gallery.

I also treasure my Nancy Drew books from the 30s, my Little House books, and cookbook collection.

Confession: I'm a book haorder. And, I have thousands of books on my Kindle. One-click junkie.


Mary Preston said...

I have an eclectic mix on my reading shelf. Many would be historical in some form or another. I do love to dive into the past.

Gaby Pendragon said...

I think I have a bit of everything on my shelves, I'm more inclined toward romance and also fantasy :P

Donamae Kutska said...

Mystery suspense, supernatural and cozies.

Joanne Rock said...

Anita, I like a good self-help read now and then too. The books on marriages/relationships are interesting not only from a personal standpoint (what marriage wouldn't benefit from some self help?!), but also from a writing perspective. It's interesting to read about the ways couples relate and frequently get in their own way. It always helps my stories!

Denise... swoon... adore Rossetti works and also am a huge fan of his sister's poetry. Goblin Market is a long time favorite.

Joanne Rock said...

Mary, I have not been reading as many historicals lately, although some of that is seasonal. I read more of them in the winter for some reason! Hoping to find some good ones soon.

Gaby, do you read more fantasy that's YA or adult? I look at my shelves and realize that-- except for classics like LOTR-- most of my fantasy is YA. Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series is a huge standout for me, no doubt because it's historical AND fantasy too!

Donnamae, so glad you stopped by the blog! I've got good news for you, my friend. You are the thread winner!!! I'm messaging you privately to set up how to send you your prize.

Thank you, thank you all for checking out my Reading Manifesto! I'll be back later this month with a new blog and until then, Happy Reading!