People Used to Be Travelers

Sometimes a single line from a book really knocks me in the gut. Earlier this week I was reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. Adams was chatting with his guide, an Australian named John, when John said, “People used to be travelers. Now they are tourists.” I paused to jot down the […]

The Butterfly Effect of Reading

When it comes to discussion of books the three words I most dread are, “You should read….” I have developed a process for discovering books I want to read and I put my entire trust in that process. I call it the Butterfly Effect of Reading. I believe it is a result of the freedom […]

The Story of My Life

Over the last twenty five years, I have kept a journal more often than I have not. Over the last 14 I have written more than 6,000 posts on this blog. Over the last 11 years I have tweeted more than 25,000 times. There’s a lot for me to look back on if I wanted […]

Writing at the Turn of the Century

Over the last few years I’ve read several books that I enjoyed so much, I wanted to know more about their authors. I recently completed Dumas Malone’s 6-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson and His Times. It took Malone decades to complete. I was fascinated by the sheer dogged persistence of someone completing such a […]

Why I Read: An Essay in Two Acts

I. Learning to Read “There is no Frigate like a Book to take us Lands away.” —Emily Dickinson The importance of books My parents taught me the importance of books. They surrounded me with books, read to me, and encouraged my love of books. As a child of the 1970s, I was lucky: There were […]