Writing About What You’re Reading

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting. ~Edmund Burke

I love to read. I found that these past few years, I’ve drastically changed the kind of books that I read, though. It’s a drastic change brought about by drastic turn of events in my life. A few years back, I also started writing about the books that I read. This is aside from the commonplace book of favorite lines that I keep.

It’s not too often that I find friends who like to read the same books that I do, and those who do read the books that I read don’t always have the time to talk about it. Writing about my thoughts helps me process which parts made an impact on me and why–a lot like a conversation with myself. I write about personal experiences that are related to what I read too. I found that writing about what I’m reading as I read it helps me to slow down and really digest what the author is trying to say. It makes the book more meaningful, and the very act of pausing to think and write enriches the act of reading. It’s like I don’t just consume the book, I chew on it slowly and thoughtfully. I enjoy that.

I also noticed that some books don’t read the same way a few years after. Somehow as I grow older and gain more insight about life, old books that I liked are infused with new life and meaning. A childhood favorite, Hope for the Flowers, is a story that opened up and bloomed pretty much like a lovely flower as I read it again and again at different times in my life. It’s great fun to read journal entries about a book that I read and realize that I’ve missed a few things, in retrospect. Or that my views have changed because of one reason or another.

Writing, in this way, creates a series of snapshots to help you remember how you thought in the past years and appreciate the changes that you went through and, quite possibly, are still going through until now. I find that fascinating.

In this photo:
Black Parker 51 Vacumatic, Medium inked with De Atramentis Olive Green
Navy Gray Parker 51 Special, Fine inked with Diamine Onyx Black
Maroon Elias Notebooks single pen slip in leather suede

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