I’ve been criticized for buying the books I read rather than borrowing them, but despite all the good reasons why, this last book reminded me why not.
I have developed a habit of reading with a pencil, writing in the margins, and, as it feels to me, reading each book as a conversation between the author and me. I read by writing out my own thoughts too.
I borrowed Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge from my little sister last week and since it wasn’t mine, I couldn’t read it with a pencil the way I normally do. Well, it turns out that the habit had become absolutely crucial to my comprehension. It turns out not being able to write, argue, or think in the margins made it impossible for me to engage with the material on a deeper level.
Worse yet, I would read something that stuck in my mind and not being able to store it anywhere I could not move past it. I had to resort to taking pictures with my phone and writing notes on scraps of paper just to refocus my attention.
I’m happy to be done with that book and on to reading a book that belongs to me again, this time Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I have my pencil sharpened and look forward to communing with the past again.
These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren