I realized this week that my book blog will be five years old this August. Five years! After nearly every book I read the excerpts that I love get logged there. (How many books have I read in five years, you wonder? Roughly 200 give or take.) My book blog has been so incredibly handy. I might be in the office and think of a quote or concept I want to reference for a piece of work and with a quick search – there it is.
Here’s a lovely example from 2007, logged from the book Growing the Distance by Jim Clemmer:
It’s too easy to see learning as an end result rather than an ongoing process. Once I get my diploma, certification, or job, it’s all too natural to relax and feel that I should now enjoy the fruits of my labors. Therein lies the deadly trap of viewing learning (or change) as a phase, not a way of life.
Constant growth, development, and adaptability to change comes from lifelong learning. As the 19th-century British theologian and essayist John Henry Newman once said, “Growth is the only evidence of life.” If we’re not growing, we’re like a dying tree; eventually the winds of change will snap us of our rotting trunks and blow us over.
To think that prior to my book blog I used to transcribe – by hand! – excerpts into a notebook. I was always a library book borrower before my Kindle, so I had to make my notes before taking the book back.
Then five years ago I decided to start a blog as a repository for those excerpts. It was an upgrade from handwriting the quotes, but it meant I was now typing them out. Under the dreaded deadline of the library books being due. I called my book blog “Reflections of a Literary Journey”. Why a literary journey? As I share on the home page….Socrates once said “know thyself”, and one of my favourite mediums for learning, and therefore knowing, are books. When I used to read book-books, I was notorious for tabbing pages with post-it flags and this blog captures my flags from each book I devour. Things are easier now thanks to eBooks!
Getting a Kindle was instigated by two things. One, I was tired of lugging books around with me (some weekends I’d have five or six books with me for reference for various projects). Two, I was falling down on my discipline for logging all the quotes and excerpts. Getting a Kindle changed that instantly thanks to “My clippings”. Hallelujah.
So, five years later, roughly 200 books read, I raise a cup of tea in a toast to my book blog. Thank you for a literary journey that is part of my lifelong, learning journey.