About Soul Librarian®, Soul Reading®, and the Circulation Desk
Frederick Buechner, in his book Whistling in the Dark, suggests that by learning to pay better attention to texts of all sorts, we also learn to pay better attention to ourselves:
From the simplest lyric to the most complex novel and densest drama, literature is asking us to pay attention. Pay attention to the frog. Pay attention to the west wind. Pay attention to the boy on the raft, the lady in the tower, the old man on the train. In sum, pay attention to the world and all that dwells therein and thereby learn at last to pay attention to yourself and all that dwells therein.
From my earliest memory of reading picture books like Never Tease a Weasel by Jean Conder Soule and illustrated so beautifully by Denman Hampson to my latest reading of The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morely, I love the way books pull me into conversation with myself and with the world around me.
Through these conversations I learn. Not just that “teasing isn’t nice,” but also how to navigate complicated relationships, how to give and receive grace, and what it might mean to be free.
Further, when I carry these lessons with me after I put the book down, other people’s stories become part of my story and my entire sense of myself and others changes as a result.
If this is how reading works for me then I’m sure it must work that way for you too.
Circulation Desk is a newsletter that pulls together the lessons and meaning I’m finding in my reading life in the hopes that you might join the conversation. Your inbox will not be flooded, but will receive a quarterly post reflecting on a season of reading and only occasional posts in-between.
The Soul Librarian® identity was launched in 2016 as an invitation into conversation about what we read, but also HOW we read. In September 2016, I introduced a modern version of the ancient practice Lectio Divina as a model for how to get more out of our reading lives. To help people with this practice, I also created a unique reading journal. I self-published 1000 of these journals and as of December 2019, they are sold out.
I still use and believe very much in the practice of Soul Reading and I may refer to you all from time to time as Soul Readers. If you are interested in exploring how you can be a Soul Reader, i.e. discover methods to deepen your reading, then you may be interested in these posts:
As for the journals, I have no plans to re-print at this time, but I have created a set of instructions for you to create your own version in the notebook of your choice. You can find the instructions at Soul Reading Journal.
Oh, you can also follow me on Goodreads, Instagram, the Soul Librarian Facebook Page, and Twitter.
Happy reading and seeking, my friends!