I do love writing these Monday Musing posts. For one, they help to set me up for the week ahead. I really enjoy looking through literary quotes as a place for inspiration and understanding. Books have always been my primary source of comfort and the lens through which I learnt to navigate the world. In that sense, the benefits that I derive from reading really haven’t changed over the past 30 years. Although I’m not one for defacing my books (even if I’m the only one who’ll ever read them), I do make an effort to record any particular quotes or passages that speak to me in the moment. One benefit of this is that I have a sort of life journal, recorded totally in the form of extracts from books that I have read. It’s kind of amazing to trace the course of my life, my preoccupations, and my emotions according to the passages from literature that meant something to me at the time of reading. There’s definitely a pattern to the phrases or paragraphs that I take away with me and the way that they reflect whatever I was going through at the time. This is a pretty strong argument, I think, for re-reading books that you love because it is surely the case that you will extract something different from them every time.
My second reason for writing these posts is related to all of this. I enjoy having an abbreviated weekly chronicle of my life recorded here. Part of why I love writing on The Book Habit is that it provides me with a space to talk about an aspect of my life that has carried me through so much. Through depression and anxiety, I’ve never stopped reading. Across multiple qualifications and a career change, books have always accompanied me. And on many transatlantic moves, novels have served as my main source of grounding and comfort. Although I hope that I write posts that are interesting to other people, I think sites like this mean very little unless they are authentic and personal. Reviewing books as primary content makes it hard to keep to this line because, as much as my interpretation of a novel is grounded in my own experience, I’m trying to universalise the reading process and let you know whether I think you’ll also enjoy the book. Monday Musing posts give me an opportunity to personalise my reading habits and hopefully help you to know me a little bit better. At the very least, it’s a chance to explore some beautiful quotes from literature, and make a direct connection between the way that books speak to us and the messages that we might benefit from carrying forward into our own lives.
With that, this week’s quote is one of my favourites from literature. As always, please feel free to comment on this post with any of your own favourite literary quotes!