Reading Pathways

When I read Iliana’s (Bookgirl’s Nightstand) post this morning, about keeping notebooks and journals with book excerpts from her reading, it hit home with me. I love notebooks/journals, too! I don’t write in them all the time, but over the years those little word treasures add up and reveal a pathway. Books lead to other books…and the quotes we choose to keep remind us of who we were and illuminate who we have become.

Connections…On one page in my notebook, dated 1974, while reading one of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s diaries, and being curious about a reference to a writer she loved, I wrote: “Who is Henry Beston???” Without the benefit of the internet, it took a trip to the library to discover that he was the author of a beautiful little classic, The Outermost House, a lovely read which lead me to a number of other lovely reads…

Guidance…And a tender quote, written down a year after my father passed away, still gives me solace. I found it while reading May Sarton’s Encore, A Journal of the Eightieth Year.

He whom we love and lose,
Is no longer where he was before,

He is now wherever we are.

–St. John Chrysostom (4th century)

Like the Jane Austen quote I used to define this blog, “A fondness for reading must be an education itself,” my reading notebooks and journals give me insights into the pathway of my education over the years.

7 thoughts on “Reading Pathways

  1. jenclair

    I, too, have kept journals for years, but use them less since I’ve taken up blogging. Oh, the reading itineraries we all end up on when one thing leads to another: one author leads to more books and other authors, one topic leads to a more in depth study or an expansion of interests.

    I’ve read a couple of Anne Morrow Lindburgh’s books (such graceful writing) and several of Sarton’s journal’s and a biography, but it has been years. I was on memoir journey at the time. 🙂


  2. iliana

    Robin that’s wonderful! I agree, books lead to other books and when you make those connections it just makes for a more memorable reading experience. I think if more people saw reading in this way they’d realize that a whole world was going to open for them. Thank you for sharing some of your notebooks 🙂


  3. Robin

    Jenclair, I was on a memoir journey, too, when I read those! The fun thing about reading all these blogs is getting a glimpse of other people’s itineraries (good word).

    Iliana, that’s so true! A world does open up for you when you realize how interconnected everything is! One of the exciting things about this book blogging world is being able to share those experiences and hear how others have experienced the same kind of thing.


  4. Gentle Reader

    Robin and Iliana, I couldn’t agree more. I love when we get glimpses into the interconnectedness of everything, and the blogging world is such a great example of it…


  5. tanabata

    That’s a lovely quote! I’ve never really kept a journal and I only started keeping track of my reads a few years ago, and on the computer. It’s still interesting though to look back at what I read and find out what I thought of it at the time. And the connections, like you mentioned.


  6. Robin

    Gentle Reader, I love that interconnectedness, too. Is it the librarian in us?

    Tanabata, you’re right! It can be a journal or a list…it’s the passage of time and the remembering that’s so fascinating.


  7. Jennifer Dee

    I love that quote from May Sarton. In fact I love anything written by May Sarton. Also another great journal writer is LM Montgomery and Gladys Taber. Any more suggestions on good journal writing greatly received?



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