Sundry Posts

Discovering Hidden Gems from a Restless Reader

Discovering Hidden Gems

It’s no secret that I have a ridiculous book collection. I am not alone in this as I encounter people all the time who have tons of books.

I am also not alone in the fact that my “to be read” pile is much larger than my “already read” pile. In fact, at any given time I have half a dozen or more books that I have begun and put down for whatever reason.

At this time, I must own that I am a restless reader – meaning I can be reading anything at any time before flitting to something else depending on my mood or interest.

One thing all of these books that I’ve hardly begun have in common is there is often a book mark that tells me where I stopped.

Book marks I’ve discovered when I’ve gone back to read:

  • The Dog Ear – that folded corner forever marking my journey through the book.
  • The Beautifully illustrated bookmarks – these are those pretty ones that can be found nearly everywhere and often include some kind of tassel. The tassel makes reading difficult because Pippa loves to play with things that dangle. One of my favorites is one, perhaps a bit less illustrated than most, I picked up in Paris several years ago. Every time I look at it, I remember the vacation.
  • The Ribbon guides – these are often found in journals and, again, mark where I left off.
  • The Whatever bookmark – I’ve used nearly everything I could get my hands on including facial tissues, receipts – sometimes from the purchase of the book but more often not, other books. Nothing is safe when it comes to marking my place

New Discoveries:

Recently I’ve discovered, or perhaps rediscovered, something new as I’ve gone back to a book I’d previously started.

Often, in my reading and writing, I will write down words, quote’s or thoughts on random pieces of paper, most often index cards. And, I will stick these cards just about anywhere, seldom all together as I tend to be a restless reader. Most often these index cards are purple as I seldom can resist anything in that color. These words I write are generally from a book or article I am reading and want to remember.

And, I have no system for these cards, no rhyme or reason for the words on the cards, and I stick them everywhere.

Recently I pulled a book off my bookshelf and began reading. The book was one I’d opened previously and never finished. Books, especially non-fiction, have a sense of timing. Simply put, I am not ready for the message of a particular book, and I move on to something else.

While not advocating this method of restless reading, I have found a few benefits:

  • You can gain information quickly.
    • A drawback to this one is that you cannot go deep into information with this method.
  • There is always something to read
  • Coming back to a book is like coming back to an old friend who waits patiently for you to settle down.

A Needed Message

As I was reading one of these “old friend” books, I found another positive to my restless reading habits:

I found a purple card marking the place where I’d stopped reading.

And, this one had a message: “your heart will always tell you what is working and what is not.

I came across this little gem of a message while reading Simple Abundance written by Sarah Ban Breathnach. These words struck something in me and I wrote it on a  purple index card and somehow it found its way into another book I was reading.

How simple and yet how profound this little gem turned out to be. It was just what I needed to hear in that moment of my life. I don’t even remember writing it down.

I still write these little gems, though more often they are on sticky notes or in one of my many journals. Perhaps I should go back to the index cards. They make great bookmarks, and as my restless reading habits attest, I am liable to find them anywhere.

Who knows what words of wisdom I may need next.