Commonplacing

https://www.pinterest.se/zleapy/commonplace/

The origin of the commonplace predates internet (hell I predate internet…)

In the olden days circa 16 hundreds when the printing press made books more easily available to more people and reading really became a thing. There was talk of information overload and people found it difficult to sort all the informaton they came across. Their solution to this was the commonplace book.

Today we have the internet, books, newspapers, tv and probably a couple i missed. They thought they had information overload? pah! WE have information overload. And also with an increasing diskussion about how everything we do pretty much can be monitored these days there just might be a need for the commonplace even today.

I am facinated with the concept of the commonplace book. It’s a notebook where you collect interesting data, whatever is interesting to you. The commonplace book is in a way a diary but not in a what happened to me today way, no this is more of a what did I discover and what did I think of it way. It’s an organized form of external brain.

There is something about putting pen to paper that makes it easier to connect with a text, it becomes more ingrained in the brain than if you are hitting a keyboard. It’s easier to remember something if you have read it outloud to yourself and written it down. Engage as many of your senses as possible if you really want to remember something. Sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. If you chew a gum while studying, chew the same flavour when you take the test. It’s the same principle as the way we have strong memories connected with certain smells, the smell of a blown out candle always brings me right back to the breakfast table during december when I was a kid. There was always one or more candles burning, counting down to christmas.

The commonplace is a way of interacting on a deeper level with the text and that is on my list for this year. I’m working on becoming a better reader so I think a commonplace of my is a neccessity.

A lot of famous people have used commonplace books so in the sprit of “if a Kardashian is using it it must be good” mabye we should try replacing the Kardashians of the world with the Einsteins. hmm? come on – why not give it a shot?

At the top of this text is a link to where I gather information about the commonplace book if you want to read more about it by people who write better than I do 🙂

 

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Two weeks of book vacation

Yesterday I decided to take a look at what I was reading this time last year. I wanted to compare it to my vacation year just to see if there was any difference.

January 2016 I read five books.

skarmklipp_gr_2016jan

So far this year I have read five books:

skarmklipp_gr_2017jan

Now  my point here is not that oh my godness I read so many books. What I find interesting is that last year it was a struggle and this year it’s a pleasure and that shows in the numbers.  I don’t think the quality of the books are so very different. There are two books considered YA on the list for this year and there is two classics and a very cool short story collection. I like the variation, when I started my bookvaycay one of my concerns was that I would choose to read only easy stuff.

I don’t know if I really have a point here. But I am very happy about my vacation, taking a break from the have to’s is very relaxing and fun.

Last year I struggled my way through Moby Dick. It was a chore. The darling Melville does have his long descriptions of seaweed and what colour the water is. I was very frustrated with the lack of white wale. That beeing said. The book is very good. I’m glad I  read it and I will probably read it again. Also by reading Moby Dick I found Bartelby the Scrivener and that is a lovely, lovely thing.

There is a time to read the Moby Dicks of the world and that is time well spent and there is a time to relax and enjoy having read the Moby Dicks and that is also time well spent. Pretty much time with books is time well spent 🙂

Now I will go and continue with my next read.

Reading for joy, a year’s vacation

Of course we read for plesure, right? However I often find myself caught up in the web of I need to read this, it’s a classic or everybody else is loving this or it’s the next part of a series or… whatever. These are all valid reasons but they are not necessarily going to lead to a plesurable reading experience. Sometimes they do.

One of my reading goals for 2017 is to stop with the forced reading. This year I plan to read whatever I want. I will read for joy. If I start a book that I’m not enjoying I will put that effing thing down WHITOUT FINISHING IT!  That will be a challenge 🙂

There is a time and place to read the heavy stuff, books filled with facts, the ones that take time and effort. I’m not saying I won’t read those books, I probably will. I do enjoy that type of reading, I will not force myself to read a book. That’s the big difference.  I’m taking a year of from the have to’s, a reading vacation.

At the moment I’m reading A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. The second book in a series that begun with A Long Way to A small, Angry Planet. I belive these books are considered young adult and  I’m not supposed to read them. Because I’m old. Well I’m calling bullshit on that, there are a lot of really good books within young adult litterature. Of course there is also a lot of bad ones, that is true whatever genre you are reading. This year I’m not listening to my inner voice telling me what I can and can’t read. I’m gonna read all the nice things!

So my plan for this blog during 2017 is to focus on my reading and to use it to get better at writing (I know my spelling is really really bad…) and better at reading critically. So I have a really low goal at goodreads this year, only 25 books. Hopefully I will read more but if I only read 25 I’m good with that.