Jun 2, 2010

Chapter One: In Which I Begin Blogging

I used to read everything: little books, big books, fat books that bruised the table when I dropped them, thin, floppy books, chapter books, picture books, books that sing when I pressed a button, books that left me quiet for hours after. I read books that came in series, and books that stood alone. I read short stories, long stories, magazines, and shampoo bottles in the shower.

When I was really desperate, I resorted to reading instruction manuals. These were always handy—every glove compartment comes equipped with one—but they were a bit dry. Really, what ten-year-old little girl needs to know the correct air poundage for a set of tires?

The problem with the instruction manuals, aside from not being terribly applicable, was that I never learned anything lasting. None of the information ever really stuck. There wasn’t a reason for it. But, I wanted to read, and it was sometimes useful to know what that button was under the steering wheel, so, when there was nothing else, I read manuals.

After a while, I began to see that reading everything wasn’t necessarily beneficial. I started to see that different books carried different merit, different weights. I started to dig deeper into the stacks, trying to find the books that were true. I wanted to find books that told the truth and told it in a way that I could, first, understand it, and second, remember it. I wanted to become other people in other places. I wanted to travel. I wanted to see mistakes and consequences. I wanted to find and hide treasures.

As I started digging for new stories, I found more and more, better and better books. I sorted them into piles in my head: the ones about sensible, talking animals; the ones about growing up quietly; the ones about extraordinary adventures. These are the books that did more than keep me turning pages, but prompted me to pick up another book when that one was finished.

As I grew up, my tastes matured a bit, but I have never outgrown the best books from my childhood. They’ve followed me everywhere I go, whispering into my ear whenever I walk into an old house, or see an animal peeking around a corner, or walk down a crowded street. Better, though, is when they offer nudges when I really need them.

They gave me experiences that equipped me for my semi-adult life.

But, I still need a good lot of equipping, so part of the purpose of this blog is to make me read more, and part of it is to make me process through what I read. Mostly, though, it’s because I love books, and want to have more opportunities to talk about them.

No one should ever be without something valuable to read, and I’d like to offer my opinion on some of the books available. Maybe I can help to save you from instruction manuals.



  • Well, congratulations on the start of your blog. Happy that reading about your reading gives me one more thing to read.

  • you’re so good at words.

  • Jesse!! I’m so excited about this blog! I’ve bookmarked it 🙂 I can’t wait to see what books you recommend… I think so highly of your taste! And I second what Elliott said.

  • What a great first entry; I’m so excited to read more. Will you tweet about it every time you update? Thanks 🙂

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jesse Doogan, Jesse Doogan. Jesse Doogan said: Why I read: http://ow.ly/1Tdux […]

  • @Adam: Happy that my reading can provide you with more reading.

    @Katy: Thanks Kate! You should recommend something for me. It could be like going used book shopping, but in different states. 

    @Elliott: Thanks Elliott. You are too. 

    @Lorraineo: Of course. I always tweet everything anyways. 

  • Congrats on the blog Jesse!! Can’t wait to continue on reading.

    • @Laura Thanks Laura! I’m excited to get going with it. 🙂

  • I meant to comment on this before but I suppose I forgot. This made me smile lots, you’re, uh, good at words and stuff. Haha. Congrats on the blogging, I can’t wait to read more!

  • Nancy would be proud. 🙂

  • I’ll be listening:-) You are hereby “bookmarked”

  • You mean there are still books that you haven’t read?
    The publishing world must have picked up speed. 🙂

  • Thank you all!
    And yes, mother, I’ve got lots more to go. 🙂

  • Yes, I know it is a month late. However, I finally got the spare time to do something non-school related. Well, I finally chose to take a break, its a holiday…so I think its acceptable.
    I’m so proud of the work you are putting into your blog and website. You have been bookmarked this whole month and finally I have read your posts! You do have a way with words and it makes me feel guilty for not reading more. Maybe I’ll be inspired to buckle down and read my french books…keep it up very interesting thus far.

  • Thanks Emily! I love knowing I might just inspire you to pull out those books. 🙂

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