This week’s musing asks:
What do you do with the book before you start reading it?
It seems the most trivial question but I’m so glad somebody brings this up. To begin a new book is a ritual for me. I usually skim through the blurb to get a feel for the story because I’m usually off a slow start. I cannot really explain, but let me put it this way: Beginning a new book is like arriving a new country on vacation. I feel displaced and lost, wanting to take it everything and gain my bearing. Skimming the blurb and author’s biography helps. Sometimes the writing style can be more challenging to become inured to. Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and William Faulkner take a while getting used to. For each book I slip a couple pieces of scrap papers into the pages for notes. The reading notes contain my thoughts and comments, as well as page references and dates. These notes will be used for writing the review after I finish the book.
I started Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women this morning. The picture is a sample of what my reading notes look like. I’m indebted to JoAnn at Lakside Musing who sent me the copy. She and I share unbelievably similar reading taste.