I know. It’s been a while. You’ve often caught yourself wondering, ‘Self, where has Matt been? Has he still been reading, even though he isn’t writing? This is a crisis of historic proportions!’ But seriously. I’m back. I’m still reading, and I’m finally ready to start writing about it again.
The truth is, many of us spend a lot more time reading than we do talking about reading, or about knowledge, or about the power of these things in what are too often turbulent times. I’m no exception to that rule, to be sure. I read a LOT, but the conversations I have about books tend to be mostly internal conversations with myself.
Part of that is because reading is often viewed as a solitary pursuit: the province of scholars and hermits and monks. And probably librarians. In fairness, all of those groups are very often misjudged terribly.
Another reason we don’t tend to talk much about books, I think, is because when it comes to reading (as with so many aspects of life today), we’re SO divided. We know what we like, and mostly try to tune out the things we don’t. If there’s a genre or an author we haven’t cared for in the past, we tell ourselves that we couldn’t possibly enjoy them this time around. That’s a shame, though. We need to remember that the past is not necessarily predictive of the future, whether we’re talking about human behavior, pie recipes, or even books.
Some folks choose to neither read nor write. Those unfortunate souls are not beyond redemption, certainly, but their priorities are very different than mine. I would imagine that many of them have extremely happy lives, and that most of them are wonderful people. If this sounds like you, though, you may not be very interested in the content here. Who knows. Maybe I can win you over and get you to pick up something you wouldn’t otherwise have given a chance.
Ultimately, what I would love to see is a little more flexibility. A little more bravery. A little more hope. In our world, our relationships, and our reading choices. I know it may seem far-fetched to some, but I think we can do better.
So I’m back. I’ll be writing about books, reading, and perhaps other topics that happen to interest me. Some of the happiest and most engaged periods of my life have been times when I’ve been creating, not just consuming. It hasn’t mattered much to me, over the years, whether I’ve had legions of adoring fans. Just the writing is enough, whether anyone else is reading or not.
Let’s give it a shot again, shall we?