Read, Read, Read. Read Everything. (Then Write.) – Vol. 25

“Beware
Those Who
Are ALWAYS
READING
BOOKS”
~Charles BukowskiThe Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966

Happy Weekend, friends! We hope the past two weeks have treated you kind and that, if you are on the top half of the globe, Spring is putting a little extra spring in your step. It’s butterfly season, is it not? And for our Southern global friends, these cooling temperatures make it excellent reading weather. Put the two together … butterflies and books … and you have the makings for a magnificent Reading Rainbow. Add some Jimmy Fallon in the mix and, well, we’ll let you see for yourself. Enjoy this weekend’s theme on the joy of books and reading!

(PS–are you sensing a trend around here? We seem to be falling into a pattern of two weekends of “new” material; one weekend of archived material. This seems to be working well for me and Jennie, so we’ll probably continue it for a while.)

Butterfly in the sky
I can go twice as high
Take a look
It’s in a book
A reading rainbow
A reading rainbow

***

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
~George R.R. MartinA Dance with Dragons

***

“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.” ~Cornelia FunkeInkspell

***

h2_1996.403.1

Reading at a Table. Pablo Picasso. 1934. (via)

 “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

***

“[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second-hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read… ” ~Neil Gaiman

***

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ~J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

***

They published your diary
And that’s how I got to know you
The key to the room of your own and a mind without end
And here’s a young girl
On a kind of a telephone line through time
And the voice at the other end comes like a long lost friend

“Virginia Woolf” by The Indigo Girls

***

“When I read the actual story-how Gatsby loves Daisy so much but can’t ever be with her no matter how hard he tries-I feel like ripping the book in half and calling up Fitzgerald and telling him his book is all wrong, even though I know Fitzgerald is probably deceased. Especially when Gatsby is shot dead in his swimming pool the first time he goes for a swim all summer, Daisy doesn’t even go to his funeral, Nick and Jordan part ways, and Daisy ends up sticking with racist Tom, whose need for sex basically murders an innocent woman, you can tell Fitzgerald never took the time to look up at clouds during sunset, because there’s no silver lining at the end of that book, let me tell you.” ~Matthew QuickThe Silver Linings Playbook

***

Reading Hemingway

by James Cummins

Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry,
for jambon, cheeses, and a dry white wine.
Cold, of course, very cold. And very dry.

Reading Hemingway makes some folks angry:
the hip drinking, the bitter pantomime.
But reading Hemingway makes me hungry

for the good life, the sun, the fish, the sky:
blue air, white water, dinner on the line . . .
Had it down cold, he did. And dry. Real dry.

But Papa had it all, the brio, the Brie:
clear-eyed, tight-lipped, advancing on a stein . . .
Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry,

I’d knock down Monsieur Stevens, too, if I
drank too much retsina before we dined.
(Too old, that man, and way too cold. And dry

enough to rub one’s famished nerves awry,
kept talking past the kitchen’s closing time!)
Reading Hemingway makes me so hungry . . .
And cold, of course. So cold. And very dry.

“Reading Hemingway” by James Cummins, from Portrait in a Spoon. © University of South Carolina Press, 1997.

***

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
~Ernest Hemingway

***

“I will not be quoting Hemingway anytime soon, nor will I ever read another one of his books.
And if he were still alive, I would write him a letter right now and threaten to strangle him dead with my bare hands just for being so glum. No wonder he put a gun to his head, like it says in the introductory essay.” ~Matthew QuickThe Silver Linings Playbook

***

Hemingway’s whiskey
Ah, it’s tough out there, a good muse is hard to find 
Living one word to the next, one line at a time 
There’s more to life than whiskey, there’s more to words than rhyme 
Sometimes nothing works, sometimes nothing shines

“Hemingway’s Whiskey” by Kenny Chesney

***

“You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.” ~Pat ConroyThe Prince of Tides

***

“It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that when I’m in the company of others – even my nearest and dearest – there always comes a moment when I’d rather be reading a book.”
~Maureen CorriganLeave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books

***

“I often carry things to read
so that I will not have to look at
the people.”
~Charles BukowskiThe Last Night of the Earth Poems

***

Alice, A Mad Teaparty by Su Blackwell

Alice, A Mad Teaparty by Su Blackwell

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” 

Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

***

 “Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.” ~Diane DuaneSo You Want to Be a Wizard

***

“Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.”
~Arnold Lobel

***

“Have you really read all those books in your room?”

Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”

~John GreenLooking for Alaska

***

The Pleasures of Reading
by Charles Simic

On his deathbed my father is reading
The memoirs of Casanova.
I’m watching the night fall,
A few windows being lit across the street.
In one of them a young woman is reading
Close to the glass.
She hasn’t looked up in a long while,
Even with the darkness coming.
While there’s still a bit of light,
I want her to lift her head,
So I can see her face
Which I have already imagined,
But her book must be full of suspense.
And besides, it’s so quiet,
Every time she turns a page,
I can hear my father turn one too,
As if they are reading the same book.

From A Wedding in Hell by Charles Simic. 1994.

 ***

“I will never be able to read my mother’s favourite books without thinking of her – and when I pass them on or recommend them, I’ll know that some of what made her goes with them; that some of my mother will live on in those readers, readers who may be inspired to love the way loved and do their own version of what she did in the world.” ~Will SchwalbeThe End of Your Life Book Club

***

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~William Faulkner

***

“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”

~Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

***

“After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer’s breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer – perhaps more.” ~Jasper FfordeThe Well of Lost Plots

***

“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.” ~Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraDon Quixote

 ***

Thanks for joining us this weekend. We hope you enjoyed! Have you read any good books lately? Let us know! ~ Christy and Jennie

This week’s Reading-Themed playlist features music by Moxy Fruvous, Peter Gabriel, CAKE, Gordon Lightfoot and more:

26 comments

  1. I loved this SOOOOOOOOO much. When I was born, my mother said I was already reading something and that’s why she had so much trouble in the delivery room…the book’s cover had hard edges. I’ve kind of given up people for books. Like the quote above…when I was with them all I could think about was how much I wanted to be someplace quite…reading a book. My daughter has said that so many times as well. She was at a party and had a book in the car and would take reading breaks until she finally gave up and just sat in the car and read. I always have books stashed everywhere, paper and pencils too, so I can draw something. People break my train of thought…LOL

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    1. Love this! I’m sure your mom would have preferred you reading a paperback during delivery, LOL.
      I too have books and notebooks stashed everywhere. I never go anywhere without something to read, something to write, or something to drink.

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  2. So much to comment on, this is a wonderful post and I’ll be listening to the playlist all weekend. Thank you so much for putting this together. Y’all did a wonderful job, I love it.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this one, CTS! Enjoy the playlist too — I stuck a Plant/Krauss duet in there. Love their voices together!

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      1. I saw, great stuff. Been diggin’ the Gordon…

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  3. oh marvellous marvellous marvellous. Oh Mr Hemingway. Isn’t he great? Now is it my imagination or is there a larger proportion of men in this week’s post than usual? I wonder why it might be that men have so much to say about reading? Or perhaps I am mistaken…

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    1. Oh Mr. Hemingway … I happen to think he’s pretty great, but I know lots of people disagree. I think Jennie is not overly fond of him — said she remembered teachers shoving his work down her throat (or something like that.)

      Did you happen to see that movie or read the book Silver Linings Playbook? The male lead is so funny reading these “classics” and then getting all worked up and crazy over the endings. I’ve often felt the same way. One book (or more), I think I slammed in disgust after the ending displeased me so and threw it across the room.

      And to answer your question … maybe because women are actually doing the reading and/or the writing, while the men just sit around and talk about doing so?

      Heh, I don’t know Liz, other than writing was such a male dominated profession for so long, and most of the so called “classics” were penned by men (or by women with male pen names), so with that “credibility” their words received more weight than women’s. Just a theory — a SWAG if you will (scientific wild ass guess) — I could be totally wrong.

      Next week is “writing.” (Get it? Read, read, read, then write.) We’ll see if the same holds true in that volume. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The John Green quote is great. I just read the book, that for me, changed reading for me. That quote summed up my feelings about it perfectly.

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    1. Which book, Michael? Care to share? (it’s okay if you don’t.) Or did you mean Green’s book?

      I love books that transform our lives and how we see the world. I remember after I read The Alchemist, I wanted everyone I knew to read it too.

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      1. Not Green’s book, although I am quite sure it is smacking as well. It’s called “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It changed the way I look at reading….and writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll look it up — that’s for mentioning it!

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          1. It is my belief that the book I mentioned takes me inside the characters and experience the book with them as it goes along. It is quite amazing. Let me know what you think. That book has become my favorite over anything else I have ever read.

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          2. Will do, I just sent the preview to my Kindle. It’s a 2005 book? With 4.5 stars from over 1300 reviews? Why haven’t I read this??? LOL.

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          3. I found it in a bargain bin, bought if for something like $3. I have since bought another of his books with the same characters. I happily paid full price….and have the 3rd book with those characters on order. I see what you mean, I can’t believe EVERYONE hasn’t read it! 😁

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  5. Loved the John Green books. The Fault in Our Stars stayed with me for weeks. If you’ve never read any Murakami I recommend him highly. Kafka On the Shore, and Wind-up Bird Chronicle are my favorites. Magical realism. Awesome. Right now I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies. I think I saw the recommendation on Mrs. D’s blog. It is a very thoughtful book. Excellent. Thanks for these posts. I look forward to every one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kafka on the Shore, yes! Reading Murakami makes feel very smart, or conversely, very dense, lol.

      And Lamott… I adore. Bird by Bird is a personal favorite.

      So glad you enjoy these volumes. They’re fun to do, but often time consuming, so the positive reinforcement is always appreciated (and well-timed!). Thank you, Dede!

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  6. Sometimes you girls just scare me.

    I’ve had one of the worst weeks of my life (it’s okay, I’m fine!) and finally, today, I’m feeling normal again. I woke up praying for rain so that baseball would be cancelled, for a cleansed soul and a chance to get caught up on my READING. How crazy is it that reading is your theme for the weekend?

    You just know.

    “You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.” ~Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

    My best friend has often poked at me and said, “Maybe you’re blue because you’re reading too much. You should not read for awhile and see what happens.” If only it were that easy 🙂

    The quote I discovered reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the second time just a few weeks ago:
    “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
    ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    I’m reading everything for the second time with grown-up eyes and it’s an entirely new adventure. Jennie inspired me to start with Alice and I’m working my way through Hemingway (yikes! I don’t think I’m sophisticated enough!), JD Salinger and many more.

    Right now, I’m just focused on my WP friends. I can feel the life entering my body again.
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s 2:40 a.m. where I am. I don’t sleep enough because I can’t stop reading stuff. So much to comment on — the quotes, and other people’s comments. But I am tired, and I HAVE to get up, I have a doctor’s appoint to get to tomorrow. I’ll be back to comment further. Can I just say, I love all you wild, wonderful readers!!

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    1. Hope your appointment went well, Mary. Comment whenever you’d like, or not, we all love you, wildly and wonderfully, anyway. 😉

      So many words, so little time, right?

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  8. Oh, and that Jimmy Fallon/Jim Morrison rendition of the Reading Rainbow them song . . . saw that when he did it, and though it was brilliant on so many levels. Reading Rainbow makes me nostalgic for the days when the Boy was little. He thought reading AND Lavar Burton rocked!!

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  9. So much goodness here.

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    1. Aussa! Hi! Glad you stopped by–thank you!–and super glad you enjoyed.

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  10. whiteladyinthehood · ·

    I LOVED the very first quote! It set the tone for the whole post! Fantastic.

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    1. Wasn’t that Buk quote awesome, WhiteLady? It’s actually a line from his poem “The Genius of the Crowd,” but how perfectly it set the stage.
      (Saw you have a new post, yay! I’ll stop by this week when I have reading time. -Gringa)

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  11. What a brilliant spring garden of words you planted, how diverse.

    I have no rhyme or reason to my book reading. It depends on lots of things, but I’m usually feast or famine. I don’t have a preference so much as a connection to the individual story that scratches my book reading itch. I love Cornelia Funke’s take on the life of a book, and I agree. There are a handful of books I’ve read again and again- Aztec, The Prophet, Life of Pi, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy- that behave very much like domesticated creatures, hanging from my bookshelves…fat and fluffy and interesting as hell to look at.

    I just read “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt. I borrowed it from my girlfriend, who recently reviewed it with her book club pals. The title drew me in and the story did the rest.

    Thank you ladies!

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  12. […] it too. We’ll see you next weekend with a Writing edition to follow-up last week’s Reading volume. Have a great week; spread some sunshine. -Christy and […]

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