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Making a List, Checking it Twice

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Naughty or nice? Well, the holidays being my favorite excuse to procrastinate, I’ll have to reluctantly admit to ‘naughty.’ Being naughty, I’ve left my blog entry to the last minute. I’ve had a few New Yearsie ideas I thought I might advance, the kinds of things having to do with resolutions — mostly of the writing variety. But writing has been well enough covered at Black Gate of late and, while I know we have a lot of writers in our audience, I can’t help but think the thing that really pulls us all together, and sets us apart from, well, from a great many people who would never pick up a work of fiction let alone investigate the website of a fantasy magazine, is that we are all readers. First and foremost, that defines us.

But I’ll leave the meditation on what it is to be a reader, and how it changes the way we relate to the world, for another time — or perhaps I’ll just leave it for James Enge as he has been on a philosophical roll lately. Thinking about reading, and my relationship to (or obsession with) books, and thinking about the New Year and the sort of goals and promises we make for ourselves, got me thinking about my reading list.

Maybe you have one, too? Well, if you don’t, now would be the time of year to start. My own list is very simple, a small notebook in which I make note of the title and author(s) of every book I read, as I finish them. I have some rules governing what goes in — for example magazines don’t — and a few other simple notations that let me know if it is a book I am rereading, or a graphic novel, etc. I started keeping it when I turned twenty-one — nine years later I started a second notebook that shows every sign of running out of pages before I’m forty.

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