The first post on a blog is an intimidating thing. It’s the beginning. The hook. The first impression. It’s a taste of what the blog could become…or what it will never be. It’s where I state my intentions (I really don’t have any outside of generally keeping people updated on Oxford University), make promises I probably won’t keep (I have a very poor track record when it comes to consistently blogging), and somehow…talk about me.
Geesh, the About page was hard enough.
If you know me or have followed my attempts at blogging previously, then the whole thing is kind of redundant. You also know that despite my best intentions to be creative and interesting I mostly post about books and politics. If you don’t know me, well, howdoyoudo. I could pull a teenage girl card and say something sappy like ‘I love life! And puppies and the color pink!’ But I’m almost-no-longer a teenage girl and I don’t think life is something you can just haphazardly claim to love because…
I also prefer to cats to dogs and green to pink. Preferences, y’know. So that rules out sappy fangirling about my life. Which leads us to option two – random pointless details. I grew up in Wisconsin, go to college in Tennessee, and was homeschooled K through 12. Don’t you feel so enlightened? It doesn’t say much about me.
The deal is…I read. A lot. I have read 92 new books up to this point in the year while taking 19 credits and now working full time. Of course, there are other bookworms out there. I’ve met speed readers who could totally outdistance my puny 92 books within a few weeks. In fact, with more time on my hands I could probably double it myself. What I have come to learn makes me so unusual, though, is that I re-read. All the time. I didn’t think it was that unusual, it was something you did. As Susan Sontag wrote, “No book is worth reading that isn’t worth re-reading.”
Or in the words of C.S. Lewis, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
Or, as my philosophy goes, at least once or twice a year. But turns out, as I learned for the first time in high school, most people don’t do that. Favorite books are not worn thin; random passages are not memorized through frequent reading. That is sort of just me. Which gives us a starting point, doesn’t it? François Mauriac said,
“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”
That’s how you’ll get to know me. That’s how Fernweh’s Call will get its beginning. To experience fernweh, you have to know something else is out there. You have to hunger for more. Your imagination must be awakened and your sense of adventure stirred.
Books are the first step. They were for me. And these are the books that helped awaken a sense of fernweh in me. To know a man, know what he re-reads? My books are nothing deep. Some are downright cheesy. Some are historical fiction. Some, I’ll be honest, I read over and over as a kid and now realize are pretty mediocre. But they are my books, and that is the best About I can give you.