Have you ever read a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, that caused you to catch your breath and think ‘I can’t lose this, I’ve got to hold onto it somehow, preserve it, remember it when I need it or want to share it’ because those words you just read moved you with their beauty or insight, brought tears or laughter, or reached right down into your soul in a flash of self-revelation?
I have. And if you’re a reader, I know you have too.
For as long as I can remember, as long as I have been reading – I’ve defaced my books with underlining, starring, circling, scribbling in margins, on back pages, title pages, spilling over to scraps of paper, random notebooks, furiously and futilely trying to hoard every word-treasure I came across. It all piled up in this or that corner of my life. I worried that I would never be able to experience again a certain unique moment of transcendence because it could only be re-lived through that one perfectly-worded expression – that I had lost.
So, I have begun this digital commonplace book.
For myself, I want to gather up as many of my memorable readings as I can and save them (and savor them again) in this commonplace blog. If I am diligent about this, I think it will be interesting and fun to look back on myself through the prism of the books I’ve read and the authors who have spoken to me.
But more than that, I also want so much to share some of the readings that have entertained me, taught me, inspired me, and shored me up throughout life. Perhaps you can find something here to take away for yourself.