books · discussions · features · not books · shanti · writing

on absorbed capacity

hi virtually readers! it has been a long time, and this post is going to explain that a little bit. I miss writing about books. I’m still on Twitter far too often, and I have still been reading, although I seem to have ditched goodreads altogether. I’ve been a book blogger for almost five years, and now starting to wonder if that’s sustainable, or what it looks like in the future. As Shar has intimated, it’s definitely something we are going to keep talking and thinking about. in the meantime, though, we still have this space, and I plan to use it.

First, though I want to talk a bit about what I’ve been reading

  • The Gilded Wolves: I find it so hard to follow Roshani Choksi plots? but I really liked the bibes of this one, once I got into it. Such a beautiful book, and the way it ended has me longing for the sequel
  • The Hormone Diaries: I skimmed this one mostly because I like Hannah Witton. Relevant, fun, not lots of new stuff for me, but always nice to have a reminder of how diverse human bodies are
  • The Chance of a LifetimeSeries: I’m not remotely apologetic for reading romance novels, this was a good time and just what I needed
  • What If It’s Us: I liked how this captured the fundamental awkwardness of dating, but also made me really glad that I’m an adult and have better things to worry about than these silly boys. still fun though
  • Inspired: I am sad that Rachel Held Evans is no longer with us. This book is such a gift, a reminder that the bible is alive.

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I started my English degree almost two years ago, but I didn’t really take any intense English classes until July. There were various reasons for this. In first year, I basically had less going on, and the mandatory classes had a few novels, but mostly shorter books to read. I also had more time; or I made more time for university.

This year has been headlong. I have felt hyperinvolved in oh-so-many things. This is good. I think I have been happier than I have before: felt more like myself, had deeper friendships, learned to make a space my own, build a routine that works. I never stopped thinking of myself as a reader, and I would still snag the crumbs of reading that I could. For all of this year, I have always been reading something, but I’ve been reading less.

In taking two wonderful English courses, Children’s Literature and Climate Change Literature, I’ve learned that I love studying novels. I get the most out of my degree when I go to lectures about novels, and write essays about novels, and talk to my classmates about novels. This has been amazing. But it’s also meant I’ve had to read more than a book every week for English, and I have done *almost* all the required read and most of the recommended reading, as well as anthropology reading, as well as the reading of articles I do for my journalism course, and just to be an overall informed human being.

I also do a lot of writing. Several of the jobs which I get paid for involve writing, and I always seem to be volunteering to do more of it. I have to write essasys for university, and send emails to people I love, and take notes and apply for things. It’s something I’m good at, one of the few things I’m sure I’m good at. I think writing is a gift I have; I think that, eventually, it will be my career, although I don’t quite know how. I love writing, and I think I’m getting better at it.

There’s a whole world of reading and writing which I have found where I am, in university, beyond the book blogging world. And I love so much of what I’ve learned from blogging, and the friendships I’ve made, and the joy of having a project to share with Shar. Blogging falls by the wayside though. Someone I was talking to was describing how you have a jar, which is your capacity to do things. Some things are big, and some are little, and fit between the big things. I have so much reading and writing to do, as part of the big stuff, study and work, that my ability to read and write for fun is fading, warping. I know it’s going to come back eventually, but for now I feel drained and hollow.

I haven’t stopped loving reading and writing. These activities are who I am. I’m trying to understand what it will be like to live a life where some of the activities that give me the most joy are also things that other people depend on me to do, and if that will be sustainable for me. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I have this summer to read and write without expectation, and to keep thinking about it.

and what I’m reading now

  • The Absolute Book: this is intense in all the right ways. Such, such a delight. Elizabeth Knox is a delight
  • The Book Thief: slowly, and out loud
  • Davita’s Harp: Someone lent this to me and I’m very glad they did. Chaim Potok thinks hard, and renders the world brightly
  • The Spinoff Book: I spend too much time reading the Spinoff not to!
  • I also have The Fountains of Silence, the Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, and The Catcher in the Rye from the library and hope to read them soon

please tell me how much you missed me, I like to feel loved! or if you’ve had seasons in your life when it’s been harder to read, I would love to hear about that too

 

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