On Reading... / by LIZA SNYDER

There's something about words on paper you can touch...

I've tried to read books on the phone or the ipad, but it's not as magical.

Here is a capture of what's piled by my bedside, piled on the outside screened porch table, and piled in my car:

  • Lost in Wonder by Esther de wall (recommended by Tricia)
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan (recommended by Cindy)
  • #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amorus (recommended by Marla)
  • Daily Rituals by Mason Currey (recommended by Jackie)
  • I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers (recommended by Tricia)
  • Lit by Mary Karr (recommended by Beth)
  • Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger (recommended by Shawn)
  • The Artisan Soul by Erwin R McManus (recommended by Bonnie)
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert O'Brien (recommended by daughter Maysie)
  • Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (recommended by Tricia)
  • Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
  • Beach Music by Pat Conroy
  • Making a House Your Home by Clare Nolan (recommended by Polly)
  • An Acceptable Time (fifth in the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle)

And the morning books, sitting outside on the porch always:

  • Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey
  • Savor by Shauna Niequist (recommended by Beth B)
  • ESV version of the bible
  • The Awe-manac by Jill Badonsky (recommended by Tricia)

All of these books are a treat to me - some I've not begun, some I'm in the middle of, some I've devoured over and over and over because they hold so much truth, and speak to me in a way other art cannot.  The truth is I prefer fiction - I enjoy getting into a book like Beach Music over and over and over again - like watching a movie, I usually cannot put a book of fiction down until the very end. I'll stay up til 3 or 4am until I'm done.  I used to switch between Beach Music and The Prince of Tides, both by Pat Conroy, every other summer. I can read a book over and over again, even though I know what will happen, because something new always is revealed.

In this season, what I'm drawn to most are stories of how other artists are inspired and "get their work done." So I'm swallowing whole books like that. And I'll turn to fiction when I need a break from reality.

Something could be very wrong with me. But I'm learning to accept that. I have some friends that do the same thing, so it makes me feel a little better. My partner in life, Jeremy, does not enjoy reading...he says he read enough during his college venture pursuing a history degree. I can accept this, as well: that someone's manner of escape and inspiration is different than another's.

Every once in awhile, if I'm present enough and my nose is working correctlymy neighborhood, Point Washington, smells like an old book store. Humidity and marsh and oak and leaves. I think this means I belong here.

Do you love to read? What are you reading now? If you don't read, how do you gain inspiration from other artists?