Reader Appreciation

photographer: Charles O’Rear, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

Reading is a relatively solitary endeavor. We curl up with a good book, folding into ourselves, and often shut out the outside world.

Of course, we have literature classes, book clubs, goodreads.com, and a variety of other outlets to analyze narrative structure, discuss plot and character, and to share our overall passion for what we are reading.

But in general, unless we are reading aloud to our loved ones, reading remains a rather individual, private act.

my reading mug

I can’t remember exactly why I decided to start my blog on reading at the beginning of the summer. Something to do with wanting a different creative outlet and also wanting to dip a somewhat private toe into the online waters. But I’ve been very touched by the warmth of the blogging community, bibliophiles and non-bibliophiles alike.

When Neil from “My Pretzel Logic” told me that he nominated me for The Reader Appreciation Award, I was not only very flattered (Neil is an amazing writer – his style is so seemingly effortless, so natural, that even when he writes about something lighthearted such as singer-songwriters, I admire the words he chooses) but I also started to think about what these blogging awards meant.

Why do we bestow these little awards?  I guess it’s just because it’s nice to know someone is reading what we’re writing.  Despite loving the solitary act of reading a great book, this blog has allowed me to “meet” some very fun, interesting people; follow some fascinating, beautiful blogs; learn a lot about subjects I would never have thought about; and reminded me that we all have our own crazy individual passions!

All the blogs I follow are great but here are my 5 nominations for this award:

  1. Storyteller:  Ray’s blog is aptly named as he is a storyteller indeed. He will post one of his stunning photographs, add a few words or a short essay, an engaging title, and a beautiful tale will have been spun.  He is a true artist.
  2. Hands on Bowie: This blog is about Bowie the cat (that’s Mr. Bowie to us) but it’s much more than that. Mr. Bowie and Herman (the man behind the photographic lens and, I assume, the one who does the the typing for Mr. Bowie) contemplate life and pose philosophical questions with ease and humor.  I read each post with a smile on my face.
  3. LeapingTracks:  A music lover who has decided to re-engage with her musical tracks one by one. In each post, she discusses a song or an artist she loves; introducing us to a band or reminding us why we love a particular Mozart concerto.  It’s such a lovely idea, and I always look forward to her new posts.  My morning breakfast dance hasn’t been the same since.
  4. Librarian for Life: Jennifer is a 2nd generation librarian (this is very cool in my book, pun intended). Her blog focuses on all things library and book related.  Being an obviously gifted librarian, she is very apt at rooting out fascinating articles on a plethora of subjects varying from bookshops in Berlin to a father and son retracing the steps of Odysseus. Her second blog, reel librarians, on librarians in film, is equally interesting and worth checking out.
  5. The Argumentative Old Git:  As the blog title suggests, Himadri holds strong opinions (although he’s neither old, nor a git!) –and I love reading about them.  He mainly writes about literary matters (my most recent favorite was a scathing review of a BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s works). But he’s very open to comments –in fact, I often find his dialogue with his commentators to be as fascinating as the posts themselves. A witty, engaging writer.

Part of accepting the award is to tell you 7 things about myself….

  1. I recently saw the Indian singer Raghu Dixit in concert and now often listen to him while making dinner. I recommend his Unplugged (Live in York) album. Here’s a video from his website: click here for vimeo video.
  2. I love snow. I love waking up to a snowstorm. The quiet enchants me.
  3. I like to paint (I’m not particularly good at it but I don’t think you have to be good at everything you do in order to enjoy it).
  4. I was recently nominated for the Liebster blogging award by Suletta http://suletta.com/ She just moved to Zanzibar from S. Africa to set up a dairy farm with her family. I love her blog as she writes about her adventures on the farm as well as her favorite author, Paulo Coehlo.  Thank you the nomination, Suletta!
  5. I prefer swimming in a lake than swimming in the ocean.
  6. For all you dog lovers out there, I recommend Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley – his journey across America with his standard poodle, Charley. (A good book even if you aren’t a dog person).
  7. Conveniently, my dog just woke up from her nap and has asked me to feed her giving me an excuse to end this list…. Happy blogging and happy reading!