At the beginning of the year, I made a list of books I hope to read in 2015. For now the stack is too high. But secretly I like it best that way.
Unread books are like kind friendships waiting in the wings. They won’t rush you and they’re willing to move at your speed.
I keep a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year (I write them down in my bullet journal with an actual pen). But I won’t write the book down until I’ve completely finished, even if I only have a few pages left. I always look forward to writing the title and the author’s name on this page – a way to celebrate progress.
I am a firm believer in reading more than one book at a time. I might change that habit one day, but for now I like the way the ideas and concepts from different authors hang out together in my soul. They trade ideas, contradict one another, see the world from all different corners.
Sometimes they say things so perfectly in sync with one another I’m sure they must be friends in real life.
That’s a nice reminder for me. As a writer, it’s tempting to think we should always be creating something new, saying something original, dazzling the world with our ingenuity. But as a reader, I enjoy when the books I read repeat the truth. Sure, they may say it a little differently, turn the phrase in a way I’ve not yet heard.
But when old truth is repeated, it gives my soul a place to rest.
I think of my girls when they were toddlers, asking for the same book at bedtime – again, again, again. We find comfort in repetition.
So tell me the truth in your southern accent or through the filter of your time in the war. Show me the truth with your metaphors, the ones you find in your travels or your own front yard. Tell me the lessons you’ve learned and the ones you hope to learn. Weave for me stories of love, of loss, of hope.
Repeat the truth you’ve heard from your mother and your mother’s mother, but say it in your own way. And I’ll read your story and her story and their story, too – one in the morning and one at night.
A stack of books is a pile of promise. Even books we don’t like or don’t agree with teach us something about the truth.
As you make your book lists and add to your piles, it’s always a joy to see a book I’ve written sitting on your bedside table or nestled in a stack on your shelf.
Or if you prefer, you can download it now and listen later on your walk through the neighborhood or while you finish up the dishes; before you go to sleep or first thing in the morning.
I might talk a little too fast and maybe get carried a way in some spots. But I wanted to record these first 40 pages as a gift to you. May the words be a kind companion for your soul.