You must read, Alice, before it’s too late. You must fill your mind with the invented images of the past; the more the better. These images, apart from anything else, will help you put the two and twos of life together, and the more images your mind retains, the more wonderful will be the star-studded canopy of experience beneath which you, poor primitive creature that you are, will shelter; the nearer you will creep to the great blazing beacon of the Idea which animates us all.
— Fay Weldon, Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen
I read. I read a lot. I read while standing in line, while eating (unless I have someone to talk to, of course), any time my eyes aren’t required to do something else. I almost always have several books in progress and love the fact that I can carry an entire library in my hand now, thanks to ebooks! I don’t read as many periodicals as I once did, but with blogs and such, I read more than ever!
I learned to read fairly early, thanks to my wonderful mother who read to me and my siblings (and my daughter!). After finding me puzzling over her old high school literature book at age 6, trying to make sense of Beowulf, 1 she began patiently carting me back and forth to the library at least once a week. She encouraged a love of the written word that drove me to improve my reading skills, and I credit any academic (or other) success to that skill more than any other. Katie and I spent a lot of time reading together when she was younger until she became a confident reader on her own. She’s an avid reader now and takes a book with her everywhere just as I do.
Since the written word is so important to me, it’s only reasonable that I have parts of my site dedicated to it. I’ve listed most of the books (and music and movies) I own in a Readerware database. I just can’t recommend that software highly enough! It can export a nice list of the books, which I keep intending to upload here. If I were smarter, I’d figure out how to make it work with GoodReads. Someday! I’ve let go of many of my books (and CDs) over the last few years and moves since I’ve switched almost entirely to digital media anyway.
Because I read almost all ebooks now, Calibre is vital to managing my book collection. It runs on Mac, PC, and Linux boxen.
- GoodReads—what I’m reading now, what I’ve read recently (with some reviews, or at least ratings!), and the huge list of books that I’m planning to read. Some of that is spread over my other sites, so this one just has fiction, poetry, and non-technical/business non-fiction.
- Stuff to read—Books and authors.
- I’m so fond of science fiction and fantasy that those books and authors needed their own section.
- Books for children of all ages
- Harold Bloom on the Western Canon Jr.
- Sites for readers—reviews, booksellers and so on. Soon to be updated to include podcasts!
- Places for Atlanta readers—libraries and bookstores
- Some of my own writing. These are mostly technical articles, chosen for my professional portfolio.
I used to write a lot of poetry and short stories, but most of that has been lost to time. If anyone out there has any fiction or poetry that I shared with you at some time, I’d really appreciate a copy.
There are a few authors who I love so much that I’ve made pages with samples of their poetry. I post pieces by other poets from time to time in my blog here.
Finally, these are some pieces I find inspirational.
- 25 Lessons for Life by Marion Wright Edelman
- The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
- Remember by Richard S. Gilbert
- Invocation by Ingrid Shafer for the Oklahoma Academy of Science
- Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
1 What can I say? I was really bored during the summer break between the first and second grades. Unfortunately, my parents’ home contains very few books other than the Bible, children’s books, and (when I was little, at least) a couple of Mom’s old textbooks and a set of World Book encyclopedias from around 1960. The encyclopedias are long gone. They don’t even own bookshelves!