Tourist Guide

About Your Travel Agency to Reading

Me, the Guide:

On a quest for threads; narrative, thematic, philosophical or oh my!

I’m sure all of literature can be stitched up together within the same threads.  Reading one book always leads to another, just like points on a map.  A rainy day in a bookstore can vouch for this.  I’ve been a part of the book folk since the big snowfall of ’96.  We got 8 foot snowbanks that year.  School was cancelled and all forms of transportation shut down for the day.  A reader’s dream, no?

Some books from my own library.

In university, I exclusively picked courses that interested me.  Everything from Eastern and Western philosophy to Asian History, Literature and Linguistics.  It was a great time.  An expensive and unemployed time.  But well worth it to have the freedom to learn and be interested in learning!  The result of that pursuit is a passion for non-fiction books in many co-ordinates of the bookstore and library.

What about employment?  I had a degree, and a keen interest in cultural diffusion and languages.  So, travel to Korea and teach for 5 years.  Most of that time was spent with stellar students reading the classics.  Naturally, fiction is going to emerge as the victor over non-fiction.

Korean Buddhist Temple: Guinsa (구인사)

The Reader:

Coffee by morning: tea by night; you can find me reading everything under the Dewey Decimal.    

Choosing a book because of it’s cover is alluring like postcards.  E-Readers are great for actual travel that involve a suitcase and getting on a train, plane or automobile.  There is a certain Rocky moment to carting trunkfuls of books along the streets of New York though.  And while in the desert sands of the Atacama, there are no adaptors.  That one paper book will get beat up and you can always try reading by moonlight.  Some book covers beg to be read.  Some are just too heavy for a lowly city bus.

Me in the Atacama Desert.  (I didn't touch the carvings.)

Setting up a reading itinerary is adventurous.  Themes, connections and threads in each book is astounding.  Reading projects are compasses to bring them out.  Sometimes reading projects come about as accidental!  Or watching a movie creates turbulence in the bookish memory.  In TV, Holden Caulfield is all grown up and suddenly appears in White Collar; embracing all the phoniest qualities in society.  Yet somehow, he surpasses phoniness only to become more real.    

Reading with abandon is a personal choice.  No commitment and abandoning books like a harlot is great fun.  I’m married, but I can still speed date in my reading habits.  There is an abundance of great books out there.  Way more than Smaug’s treasure or the letter “E” in The Library of Congress Stacks.

The Blog:

Get out your compass and map.  

I’m hoping this blog will guide you in your bookish pursuits.   Think travel guidebook to reading.  Each book gets its own encyclopediac entry, complete with photoshoot, tour map, captain’s log and review.  Feel free to flip through as you see fit.  

I’ll post a new entry daily.  In April, the current events will be frequently updated on social media; BooktubeTwitterPintrestFacebook  and Goodreads.

Feel free to link the Thematic Maps to your Goodreads or Booktube challenges.  I hope they are fun and inspire lots of reading!  Or at least a launchpad to brainstorm more reading themes.  My Soul’s Wager Theme is the most massive one I can think of!  I’ll show you all a blueprint of it soon.  If you’re already on Goodreads, maybe you can guess it from my bookshelves?

From the Soul's Wager Project