All posts tagged: Journal

The Book of New Year

Among party hats, glittery decorations, and champagne bubbles, I find there is a thoughtful side to New Year. This is the time of the year, when we readers take stock of how many books we’ve read the last year. My number is hardly admirable and of course I want to read more in 2016, but I haven’t measured out a certain number. My previous goal was one book per week and no, I didn’t read that in 2015. But there is one book, that really makes my fingers tingle around New Year, more than counting down to the stroke of midnight: my new calendar! Do my bubbles reach the surface, you may ask? Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. Sometime in December, when my Christmas shopping list is as long as the queues in the stores, I remind myself that I have to buy a new calendar, and the hustle and bustle of a people-packed mall simply disappears. I muse in front of the shelves with big calendars, small calendars, colorful calendars, fancy …

My Bout with Mortality (by proxy)

The last couple of weeks have left me emotionally drained and just plain tired. A family member – my father – was hospitalized, and the only books I read were the Harlequin romances I bought in the hospital gift shop. My father is – thankfully – convalescing and little by little the normalcy of everyday life, routines, and the notion of “that’s just how it goes or is” returns, albeit with one major difference. One ugly theme looms at the very back of my mind just below conscious though: MORTALITY There it is in big, bold letter, that final “the end”. Reading it can be sweet, bittersweet, or gut wrenching, but in reality encountering it, even at a distance, is paralyzing. Medusa’s gaze could turn a man to stone, but I believe that it is the next of kin who are turned to stone in real life. My father underwent serious, emergency surgery, relied on a respirator, and round the clock care afterwards. To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to react, and as …

Dog ear

Oh no you don’t! Not in my books! That pretty much sums up my stance on dog ears. Why would you crease a page with words on it?! I ask incredulously. I keep my place in books with a bookmark, carefully chosen for the specific book. If I find an interesting passage, I copy it down in a journal, letting the words flow through my pen. However, I know there are readers that dog ear pages. I caroused the web and found readers, who are very exact with their dog ears. Top corners for finding their place in the book, bottom corners for interesting passages. Some turn a corner of a miscellaneous length; others fold the corner to the precise line of interest. Others still make dog ears into art, by folding corners to make the folds resemble a heart or, as I recent saw, the entire state of Kentucky. I can see the art in some of the dog-earing, but then you’ve discarded the book – you’re not going to read it again. What …

Map of a reading journey

We readers, many of us at least, walked our first independent reader miles in a school setting, reading according to a fixed curriculum. I have many joyful memories of the introduction to reading in school and the cornucopia of books I met during high school. The teacher was a guide through the jungle, pointing out species of special interest, but every penny has a backside, and a teacher can stiffen the discussion, analysis, and opinion. All of a sudden, the wild jungle experience is reduces to looking at caged animals, doing tricks. Enriching books always have emphasis, and we would all like to grow, intellectually and emotionally through our reading. Somewhere just below the surface is the realization that some books are good to read and others are bad – or simply put trash. We crave a guide once more. We read according to lists on classics, literature, greatest contemporary novels, or whatever you are supposed to read. Some lists are provided by others, some by ourselves. A reader’s companion to classic literature. 1001 books …

A little book of books

As an adult, I found out that there are many different kinds of reading journals, created to help a reader chronicle and remember books, but I didn’t know that as a child. I was barely a teenager when I began recording what I read. I remember it so vividly. It was summer vacation, spent at home on the island of Tåsinge in Denmark. The weather was warm, but the fresh grass was cool to walk barefooted in. I spent entire days with my nose in books either on a blanket under the tall birch that towered in the front yard or on the small terrace with my feet up in a chair. My first book of books was in a pink and white floral pattern, and I believe the first book entered with my adolescent loopy handwriting was by R. L. Stine. Many entries followed, and many books of books followed. Now, approximately 20 years later, they fill up a shelf by themselves. In some of them, I have written more than in others, but …