Reading, looking, thinking
I know how much pleasure book bloggers and literary folk in general derive from evaluating on page or screen all that has inspired, gratified, frustrated and annoyed them during the course of the day, but I often wonder why we tend to attain such satisfaction from creating journals, memes or basic lists outlining our favourite or least favourite this or that (novels, book covers, quotations etc.), which we might share with our readers in the form of weekly or monthly posts.
Perhaps this continual summing-up of all we see and hear, like and dislike, is merely our way of maintaining a sense of purpose in an otherwise chaotic existence. We carefully catalogue our lives as if they were books, so that we might feel as if each chapter has been neatly bound and shelved in chronological order. It’s such a human compulsion but it seems we need our enthusiasms and memories filed away for further reference.
Since I class myself as a habitual life-listophile, I decided upon the following:
While perusing the Internet for items of interest, I came across a recurring feature in Granta entitled Five Things Right Now, in which authors (mainly) are asked to share the five things they are “reading, watching and thinking about right now.” For instance, the Welsh novelist, Cynan Jones, wrote about seeing a pair of seagulls on his way into work each morning, and shared his thoughts on Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Eli Goldstone, on the other hand, chose to riff on a film called The Duke of Burgundy before moving on to diseases trapped in ice.
It’s a simple concept, but one I immediately had the impulse to swipe and adapt for my own self-indulgent purposes. I have, however, altered its structure slightly, so we now have Three Things… It’s my intention to include:
Reading: Every Saturday I publish a post called Winding Up the Week, which details my latest book reading schedule (the titles I eventually review for Book Jotter), so I would like, in this section, to cover the reading of anything other than the titles mentioned in my existent feature, i.e. articles, periodicals, other books, blogs, letters, e-mails, maybe even catchy advertising hoardings. Anything goes, with the single stipulation that it must involve the written word.
Looking: I seldom watch TV and only occasionally pay a visit to my local cinema, therefore, under this heading I will include anything of interest I have watched while giving it my undivided attention. This could be a theatre performance, exhibition, rare butterfly sighting, memorable incident or whatever passes before my eyes and remains fixed in my mind.
Thinking: This category is limitless because the brain never ceases to contemplate, reason and reflect no matter what we are doing. Here I may record a brief thought, evocative memory or opinion held on just about any topic. The only rule is that the thought must be immediate or one that is currently ‘on my mind’.
Does this make sense? I hope so because you are invited to participate should you so wish. Please half-inch (pinch) this idea, as I did, and go with it in its current form, or adapt it to suit your personal interests – you may prefer to include a heading like Doing, if you’re a doing sort of person, or compile a list of Ten Things. There are choices galore. My only request is that you link back to this page.
Look out for the first of what will hopefully become a regular feature: Three Things…
The First Three Things… (in order of appearance):
Three Things… – Brunching Bookworms
Five Things on a Friday – A Corner of Cornwall
Three Things… – Thoughts Become Words