Why and Why Now?

Listening to: Tea shop radio. Drinking: Gingery chai latte.

I cannot really remember a time before I couldn’t read, although I do remember sounding out my first word—”l-u-n-c-h”—on the first day of first grade. And so for as long as I can remember, I have been in love with books, with stories, with learning about various perspectives and new ideas, with escaping into other brains and other worlds.

So it really is no surprise that I worked for three degrees in literature—undergrad, MA, and finally a PhD focused on modernist fiction. More specifically, I studied novels responding to World War I—the Great War as they called it—for their literary representation of the trauma and grief wrought by that war. I loved this study and believed it would lead to a career as a college professor—teaching, talking about, researching, and writing about books.

But that didn’t happen. I completed my PhD almost seven years ago and have since gone on to have a different, satisfying career. But I still love books and reading, as much or more as almost anything else in my life. And I miss talking and thinking about them.

And so this blog. Which I hope will not only give me an outlet to think and write about what I’m reading but also connect me to others who also love books for their own beloved peculiarities. Kurt Vonnegut wrote that books are:

“devices as crassly practical for storing or transmitting language, as the latest Silicon Valley miracles. But by accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our mind and souls, in a spiritual adventure.”


One could say a lot of pretentious things about what makes stories or narratives or written knowledge “important.” And pretentious or not, those things would likely be correct. But in the end books are, for whatever mysterious reason, delightful to me. And like a great love, I’m in with them for the long haul.