Read at Whim!
Reminding myself how I want to read
First off, I want to try something new. One of my favorite things about these Tuesday newsletters is the comments. I love hearing from y’all and I learn a ton every week from the things you share. So today, I’m posting an open discussion thread about reading. (If this goes well, maybe we’ll do a new one each Tuesday!)
Yesterday, I posted my seasonal roundup of 10 good books I read this winter:
Writing that post and looking through my reading log got me thinking about how the past 3 months of my reading life went and how I can make the next 3 months better…
A while back, I was listening to an interview with the writer Elisa Gabbert, and she was asked her to describe her reading life. “Whimsical,” she said, as in, she reads mostly at whim, whatever she’s in the mood for, whatever she feels like reading. (Leave it to a poet to re-habilitate an overused word.)
In The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, Alan Jacobs writes that he has one “dominant, overarching, nearly definitive principle for reading: Read at Whim.”
“Read what gives you delight—at least most of the time—and do so without shame.”
In other words: No guilty pleasures.
Like what you like.
Alan makes an important distinction between whim and Whim: