It’s been months since this book blog just wilted and faded away. Somehow, the work of composing in-depth reflections examining what I’d been reading became work that I simply had no time or patience to continue.

I was still reading, though in a slightly less organized way. Simply going from one book to another, reading aloud the good parts and jotting down a few sentences and talking to people about whatever enthused me.  But then I’d just move right along to another book, without stopping to spend a couple of hours polishing up sentences describing my thoughts on the last one.  I had other things I’d rather do with that time, other things I needed to do, other things that were more important at that time. After all, the book was already percolating through my mind and soul, doing its thing inside me. Any writing that I had needed to do was done and had fulfilled its purpose. I write for myself, to work through a thought, not specifically for other people to comprehend.

My lifelong habits of scribbling cryptic half-legible notes on the backs of envelopes, the backs of old church bulletins, or the margins of pages had always been my own disorganized way of fixing slippery thoughts in my mind long enough to examine them. But once that’s done, what then? So many scribbled scraps litter my house, falling out of the back covers of books, turning up in old coat pockets and purses, bundled in rolled-up sheaves in the back of drawers. I’ve always had a recurring feeling that I’m supposed to get things better organized.  I’ve tried expanding notes into essays, polishing the trains of thought so someone other than myself might make sense of them. Essays organized in notebooks, notebooks trailing off half-filled as scraps of ideas waiting to be properly organized turn yellow, paper-clipped to the last page I actually finished writing.  Then this blog, scraps of paper transcribed into a post, half-written sentences waiting to be expanded and connected into a proper essay in complete sentences and paragraphs.  But all my life, it always sputters to a standstill.

It’s not the reading that stops, and not the thinking that stops, and not even the writing that stops.  But the organization stops.  The work of producing something presentable seems like more than I want to do, especially when it’s not necessary to my purposes.  “Presentable” — frankly — isn’t what I’m after.

So the blog died.  It’s been sitting here since last August.  The last entry is obviously truncated in mid-sentence, left hanging.  I suppose I ought to go back and add some concluding sentences to that post, just to round things off.  I suppose I will — when I get around to it.

Meanwhile, here I am again.  Why am I back?  Well, mainly because I need to keep track of the titles and authors of things I’ve read in a convenient place.  More than once lately, I’ve been groping to find a book, remembering some skewed version of the title or mixed-up version of the author’s name, only to be frustrated by too many library branches that it might be, too many shelves, and too much luckless hunting for the scrap of paper where I wrote it down months ago.  A simple book list — that’s all I need here.

So I’m back, with lower ambitions.  No essays that an English teacher might give a passing grade to.  No attempt to arrange my words in a way that makes sense to anyone else.  No re-writing and re-reading and re-editing.  Just a post to note what I’ve read, title and author. Whatever sparse notes come easily and quickly.  And that’ll be it.

As Daddy would say — “Close enough for folk music”.

Advertisements