Looking and seeing…it all stacks up.

This post was inspired by Clanmother’s On the Road Book Club and her 2014 Reading Programme …..

and by The World According to Dina on the subject of landscapes, and the difference between looking and seeing………

and by my miscalculated comment to Ms Vickie Lester of Beguiling Hollywood   that I would struggle to find time to review her book, It’s In His Kiss, because I only had about 15 minutes free, each day, in which to read.(  Yeah Right!  No wonder I wasn’t a maths scholar.)

SO, I thought I didn’t read much and that I didn’t have much time to read. But when I looked around me, this is what I saw.

Morning scene

starts with a read of  The Press and a page of poetry. The Press comes with breakfast coffee; the poetry comes as a prelude to bed-making, always read as I sit on the edge of my unmade bed, facing the morning light.

Somewhere, between doing the laundry and the breakfast dishes, I steal a moment with my current living room display book.

Portrait of a Garden

Portrait of a Garden

And, as the day progresses, I  flit from page to page of books and magazines that arrive in the post or are delivered by hand of friend

And when I need a change of pace, I read your blogs and write my own and catch up with reading that can only be done via my computer…Facebook, email, It’s In His Kiss, international news sites….

Evening falls,

new duties call and old ones unwind for the day,

and, eventually, some time closer to 2 a.m. than midnight, my head finds the pillow once more and I do my “15 minutes” of dedicated, purposeful, slow, daily reading.
Last month, I finished Common Ground and, this month, I began Heaven on Earth.

Thus the day passes, from word to word, from page to page, from book to book, without much rhyme or reason, but quite nicely all the same, thank you.

Clanmother says that “reading is the catalyst for transformation”. Despite the random  nature of my reading habits and choices, I find almost everything I read transforms me, in some way or another. I love the ideas and experiences that come to me through the written word.

I thought I read so little but, indeed, I read a lot

Little by Little it adds up to a Lot.

Little by Little it adds up to a Lot.

and that realisation transforms my view of myself in my home landscape.

My Reading Canvas

My Reading Canvas; much richer and more substantial and varied  than it first appears.

 

Thanks Clanmother, thanks Dina, Klausbernd, Selma and Siri,  thanks Ms Lester.

ps There are some days when I truly don’t get any reading done apart from my 15 minutes at bed-time and there are other days when I barely manage that.

pps To add to Mr Muldoon’s statement/question “Why Brownlee left”, it occurs to me that  Brownlee was needed to turn the earth in another corner of the world ie Christchurch. Who would have guessed?  😉

© silkannthreades

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100 thoughts on “Looking and seeing…it all stacks up.

  1. April

    I go read from book-to-book, blogs, but try to stay away from FB. However, that pesky housework keeps getting in the way of my reading. Oh, and I have a few people waiting for dinner….they need some cooking lessons.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Pesky housework is very annoying in that way. It’s a pity we can’t give it a book and tell it to go away and be quiet. 🙂 As for those hungry people…..perhaps some cookery books for Christmas, although I have tried that without success. 😀

      Reply
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  3. Miss Lou

    You read more than a little!! Love the Reading Canvas – abstract – superimposed pictures all on top of one another?

    How are you finding Heaven on Earth?

    As a young girl I often found myself up late reading, trying to position the page to catch the best amount of light from the outside hallway.. lol. sometimes reading right through until 2 – 3am and being soooo tired the next morning.

    I often find my daughter doing the same thing now, lol… though she usually only ever gets to about 9pm at which stage I remove the book to encourage her to go to sleep!

    Wonderful post 🙂

    ML
    x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I guess I didn’t do enough of that late night reading when I was young which is why I do it now!
      Heaven on Earth is very comforting but I think probably the best way to read it is ,as the author suggests, by copying out the prayers that appeal in one’s own prayer journal/collection. That’s not something I can easily do, propped up in bed at 2am.

      Reply
  4. Tiny

    Your post breathes wellbeing. In midst of books, flowers and beautiful decorations there’s a lot of harmony. And I can feel all kinds of comforting aromas slowly drift from your kitchen 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I love the baking aromas in the house, especially freshly baked bread. But I am also a great one for burning toast which isn’t very pleasant at all. 😀 Still, the burnt toast keeps me real!

      Reply
  5. greenlightlady

    I agree that ‘little by little it adds up to a lot.’ Even in writing this holds true. Your book pictures are a cozy reminder that a home with books is richly furnished.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Furnished with books; that’s a lovely image, Wendy. And books are so much easier to choose than curtains and sofas and carpets; and a lot cheaper too.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I’ll drink to that. You can include me at that lovely garden table of yours, with the perfectly chilled Stella Artois. I haven’t had a beer in years.

      Reply
  6. Tracy Rhynas

    I absolutely love the idea of having a living room display book which you can flick through as you go by, or stop at when you have a moment or two. I have such lovely books that sit on the shelf, gathering dust, it would be so nice to bring them out and get reacquainted. Hmmm….you have given me a wonderful idea to follow through on!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That was exactly my problem a while back; so many beautiful books stacked on shelves and not being admired. Now I have little bookstands here and there where I keep books open so I can admire them. Your books could be beautifully enhanced with book marker strands from your bead stash. Actually, now you have reminded me of all my beautiful Africa books which are still lying unloved on my shelves. Time they had an outing. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Tracy Rhynas

        I am absolutely going to copy your idea. In the dining area, now referred to as Tracy’s Bead Emporium, I like to surround myself with beautiful inspirational “things”, and I think a book stand on the sideboard would be a perfect addition. I have a woodworking friend who can create the stand and as you suggest, I can make a lovely beaded book marker. Watch this space 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I wish I had your woodworking friend! My book holders are haphazard affairs. I can’t wait to see your inspirational display. And congratulations on your 200th sale on Etsy. Marvellous.

  7. tableofcolors

    Perhaps I read more than I think as well…now that you mention it. I used to read quite a bit as a girl, novel after novel. Now it seems like life is so busy that it is just little bits and pieces here and there but I do suppose that they really do add up. I never thought of myself as a writer but soon it will be two years from when I started my blog and really it is one of the best things that has happened. I love it! And I have really enjoyed your acquaintance as well!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I expect you do read a lot and perhaps have a lot of reading interaction with your children. Do they have books they have to read aloud to you as part of schoolwork? What about bedtime stories?
      And you are definitely a writer. I always look forward to your posts.

      Reply
      1. tableofcolors

        Yes, we have reading homework on most days…which reminds me that we remember must do some today! Some evening I will read an bedtime story and some evening the kids like to listen to audio books.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          So lots of listening and reading. 🙂 I expect the older ones read to the little ones too. I used to love reading bed time stories to my little sister.

  8. Mary Mageau

    Reading and writing – how I love them both. I want my life to celebrate words so I’ll read on and write down whatever reveals itself to me. God Bless the written and spoken word.They both enrich our lives.

    Reply
  9. restlessjo

    You do indeed read a lot! 🙂 I love the notion of your living room display book! My daughter usually leaves a bathroom display book out for my visits to hers. Usually costume design or exotic furnishings. A real treat for the eyes!

    Reply
  10. Letizia

    What a wonderful way to view the day: as a journey from page to page, word to word. Waking up to poetry, going to bed to slow deliberate novel reading. Another charming post, Gallivanta! I must tweet this to my twitter followers…

    Reply
  11. Mary

    Love the idea of more reading, this is a great post for reminding us to get back at it and discover the wonders of what’s in front of us.

    Reply
  12. melodylowes

    Books have been a joy and comfort and escape for me for many years. How lovely to see some of your sneak peeks, and to enjoy the pages with you! While our spring continues cool and the perennials are slow to grow, things are looking up – I planted my potatoes today! I will soon have dirty fingernails to turn my book pages with! 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And I am sure your books won’t mind at all. You remind me of how we used to have to cover our books (reading, text and exercise ) at school to protect them from wear and tear and dirty hands! Why we had dirty hands I don’t know; we didn’t plant potatoes in between lessons.

      Reply
  13. Sheryl

    I also find that I often flit from one type of reading to the next. I learn lots of interesting things–though I sometimes miss the sustained focus that comes from reading one book at a time from cover to cover.

    Reply
  14. Joanne Jamis Cain

    I just read “The Paris Wife”, about the life of Hadley, the wife of Ernest Hemingway. I tried to stay loyal to it, reading it in little bits and pieces everyday. I’m like you, reading on and off all day- the newspaper, magazines, my spiritual readings etc but I really do try and have a book going at all times. xo Joanne

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s good to have at least one book on the go, isn’t it? Sometimes, if I am in between books and not sure which one to read next, I read a magazine at bed time and it isn’t nearly as satisfying as a ‘story’ book.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The Garden Book is charming. One type of reading which I often do, but didn’t mention in my post, is re-reading the children’s books in our house. A serious mistake really because now I don’t know that I will ever be able to part with them. They are beautiful in themselves but hold so many precious memories as well.

      Reply
  15. Leya

    Good idea to find out how much you really read. Sometimes I think I only read what’s necessary for my work, but that is of course reading and books too..!.I started filling in a little note book some years ago, a book where I write Title and author, short about content, date of start and finish and as a total finish: what I thought about the book. I was happy to find (just like you) that I in fact read quite a lot!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A book journal or diary is a great idea. I do keep a very limited record of books I have read but not in a special notebook. So sometimes I look back at a title and think “what was that book about?”

      Reply
  16. cindy knoke

    I like this post because of your honesty. You think you don’t read much but it turns out you do. I confess at times to being annoyed with people who brag about what they read as if this makes them superior. Reading to me is personal and pivotal like spirtuality. I also confess to being annoyed at interns who worked for me who said they had no time to read. Reading is important in most fields.
    It strikes me that it something that I do but other people may process information differently and I get annoyed because I am being judgemental. You my friend are not judgemental which is why I like this post so much!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      What we read and how we read are very personal issues but as long as we (people and children) have freedom to choose, I think we all find a reading level that we enjoy. My son would not have been considered a reader in the traditional school system but via Kindle and the computer he is an avid and very fast reader. His sister is an entirely different type of reader who feasts on the long, detailed classics of literature. And then there’s me….different again. Thank goodness for such variety! What scope we give to writers/authors.

      Reply
  17. utesmile

    I know how it is, even 15 minutes which is not long… I like to meditate and read for 15 minutes each, and there is always so much to do. I have many books stacked up…. I am going to my mum soon and there is not much to do in the evenings alone, so I shall take a book with me and read there as it is also very quiet there! That is a good plan! I might even get one finished.:-)

    Reply
  18. shoreacres

    What a delight to find the Persephone Biannually among your treasures. I was introduced to Persephone books three or four years ago – a great find.

    One thing I’ve noticed over the same time period is in the increasing number of books that have arrived here because of the internet. A link here, a post there, a footnote or two, and I’m either off to the library or prowling the booksellers. There still are gaps in what’s available online. Truly old texts can be found, and newly published books are easy enough to claim from Amazon, but the “in-betweens” — mostly historical volumes from smaller presses — often only are available in print.

    i know claiming “not enough time to read” can be a bit disingenuous, but it is a problem. I’d say it’s because I’m still working, and that’s part of it. But I still wonder if focus isn’t an issue, too, as well as what my mother called “piddling around”. In any event, resolutions abound!

    I will tell you my funniest reading story ever. When I was in junior high, my mother finally laid down the law: no more books at the table. One day, I asked her if we could change from Raisin Bran to another cereal. She didn’t mind at all, and we got — whatever. Post Toasties, maybe. She thought I was bored with Raisin Bran. The truth was I’d been reading the cereal box every morning. I’d memorized it, and was bored. I needed new reading material!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      “Piddling around”, as your mother expressed it, happens quite a bit round here. But, like your shoe laces, I have decided not to worry about it. Indeed, it appears that it may be good for me http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/10053201/How-humans-play-mind-games
      I love your cereal box story. We may have had a cornflakes box to read from time to time or Rice Bubbles. I can’t remember trying to bring a book to the table but I know I was often anxious to leave the table (and do the dishes) to get back to reading.

      Reply
  19. Lavinia Ross

    Sounds like you have the ideal library there, well-integrated into your daily routine. What book is that with the mushroom pictures on your coffee table?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The mushroom pictures are in a New Zealand book, Portrait of a Garden by Kerry Carman. It is based on excerpts from the garden diaries she wrote and illustrated over a period of 12 years. The illustrations are lovely.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A good notion! I don’t know why so many of us were told not to read whilst eating. I think the Benedictines may have the reading/eating equation about right. ” Chapter 38 prescribes reading aloud during meals, which duty is to be performed by those who can do so with edification to the rest. Signs are to be used for whatever may be wanted at meals, so that no voice interrupts the reading. The reader eats with the servers after the rest have finished, but he is allowed a little food beforehand in order to lessen the fatigue of reading.”
      I like your verse…I must have a bouquet in (or on) my head!

      Reply
  20. vsperry

    I stopped reading during the depths of my brain cloud…I didn’t have the energy to take in the words. I am now back to getting piles of books from the library and reading every evening. I find, however, that books often aren’t as good as they used to be, mostly due to lack of editing. I like the idea of reading in short bursts, almost like having small meals throughout the day…better for your digestion.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I stopped reading for quite a while after the earthquakes, so it’s really nice to realise that I am back in to it. I guess I didn’t have the energy either to deal with words. Oh yes, I agree about the editing. It drives me wild; usually not wild enough to abandon the book but sometimes I get close to that. I like your idea of short bursts being better for our digestion. Some people worry that we are losing our ability to concentrate on lengthy texts, because of the way we read text on the internet; maybe so but does it matter?

      Reply
      1. vsperry

        It only matters to the people who like to read long lengthy texts like War and Peace. Quite frankly, I couldn’t read that tome even before the advent of the internet…Guess I’ve always been a little ADD.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I guess I could say the same. I read it (or most of it ) in my eager youth but I wouldn’t manage it now and I don’t wish to. I have reached a stage in my life when some of my greatest joy and reading pleasure comes from children’s books; many of which are masterpieces.

  21. womanseyeview

    I think it’s so important to do an inventory of our day occasionally and see how we’re spending it – such a good process to make sure we’re including the things that bring us contentment. I find that belonging to a book club introduces me to books I might never have chosen and am grateful for reading…in the same way the blogs I follow introduce me to perspectives I would never have found and am equally grateful for being enriched by – like your unique take on life – thanks!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is good to do an occasional inventory, especially when the results come in better than expected. (We shall not however do an inventory on my exercise habits at the moment 😉 ). I haven’t ever joined a book club but I do enjoy reading about what other bloggers are reading and I do enjoy book reviews. They encourage me to experiment and I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed the published works of 6 bloggers, so far; books I wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for blogs.

      Reply
  22. YellowCable

    That is quite a lot of readings in a day! If you consider formal reading then need to do much more or in order of magnitude than I am currently doing. I have to somewhat force myself to read. I finished the last book nearly a month and no new one in the radar yet. Have to look for a new story that keep me gluing 15 minutes a day 🙂 As other said before, this blog is inspiring to read more!

    Reply
  23. KerryCan

    Your post made me think about my reading habits in ways that consoled me! I’ve been feeling that I’ve let reading slip away, as I focus on others things. But, really, I can see now that I’m reading all day, in snippets. And certainly, reading blogs has given me a whole new set of authors and perspectives in this past year! Thanks for the insight!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      When I was a youngster, I would get hold of a book and read and read for what seemed like hours on end. It probably wasn’t! Nowadays, I read as much, if not more, but I read differently. And the pleasure is still there, I realise. Your reading is wrapped around delightful activities like weaving and chocolate making and quilts embroidered with wonderful words……how great is that!

      Reply
  24. Klausbernd

    Thank you very much for mentioning me and our Bookfayrie-Blog 🙂
    Well, well, there seems to be never enough time. But I was amazed how much time I gained finishing my facebook activities. Some friends gave me this hint and I immediately noticed how much it helped.
    I wish you a happy week
    Klausbernd from the sunny coast of North Norfolk 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And a happy week to you. I don’t spend much time on Facebook, I think the biggest time wasting happens when you have to call a Government Department or an insurance company and you are put in a queue and told “your call is important to us. Please wait. A customer service representative will be with you shortly.” And half an hour later you are still listening to the same message, interrupted by songs on repeat. Finally the phone is answered, but no one has a clue how to solve your problem! 🙂

      Reply
  25. gpcox

    I consider reading as going on an adventure – so read Gallivanta to every adventure you ever dreamed of. A great daily schedule.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have certainly had some reading adventures thanks to your blog. I wonder if we all read more and read more widely, countries would be less likely to become embroiled in war?

      Reply
      1. gpcox

        Very true. Many large conflicts have arisen out of total misunderstandings and fear of the unknown. Learning another person’s culture and traditions can only lead to a more peaceful world.

        Reply
  26. Juliet

    You read and digest, read and digest. How perfect. I have Stephanie Dowrick’s ‘Heaven on Earth’ and it’s a beautiful book, but definitely one to take in short chunks.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes! I bought it a while back but felt I was finally ready to read it this month. Some of the prayers are new to me; some are old friends. It’s a delight.

      Reply
  27. Mélanie

    wonderful and interesting post, Miss G, as usually… 🙂 Becky aka “clanmother” is right about reading… I’d like to read all that pile of books… 🙂 long story, short: if I had another life, I’d spend it on reading in the 4 languages I know… whenever I travel, I also read! 🙂 stay healthy and “cool”, have a positive and optimist week! cheers! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Cheers to you too. And what awesome reading adventures you must have with four different languages to choose from. That’s transformation possibilities x 4. I have no such opportunities, although I am always quite surprised at how much of the French I understand in your posts.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. I wondered what would happen if I superimposed all the images on top of each other, like a stack of books…and that’s how it turned out. Sometimes, if I am not paying attention, everything I read does turn in to a hazy maze like that!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I thought I had, too, until I took a serious look at myself and my reading habits. One of the reasons I am reading more is because television has become such a non-event. I watch some BBC news and that’s about all. Happy reading. I love reading your magazine reviews.

      Reply
  28. Clanmother

    Oh, Gallavanta!! This is one of the best posts that I have read on integrating the power of reading within the context of our daily interactions. Our ability to decipher squiggles on a page allows us to converse with the past, present and future. It connects our thoughts and allows us to share joy, sorrow and hope. Reading is a gift that is denied many. We must honour what we have been given. Thank you for sharing your day!

    “We read to know we’re not alone.” William Nicolson

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That is exactly so. You understood immediately how grateful I am for the ability to read. I think I have another post in me that will highlight that thankfulness even more. I am not alone; I am hugged by books… 🙂 and bloggers 😉 .

      Reply
    2. Dina

      I wonder what happened to my comment. I clicked “post comment” and it went off in a vey strange way, like “never to be seen again” … I’ll wait patiently and see …

      Reply

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