It was two years ago today that my love of books bubbled over into the blogosphere. Since then I’ve written 436 posts, received 1389 comments, and racked up 87,883 page views. When I started out I wasn’t expecting to attract much of an audience, and I was (and still am) grateful for every visit, comment, and subscription. According to Feedburner there are now about 120 people out there who think my blog worthy of reading on a regular basis. Wow. Thank you!
When I started this blog I was inspired to name it “Bookworm” after the humorous painting, Der Bücherwurm, by Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885). The picture shows a man who has completely surrounded himself with serious-looking books and is attempting to read several of them at the same time (a pretty fair representation of my reading style!). But the time has come to be a little more specific. Since my reading ambitions revolve around classic books, I think my blog title should say so. My URL remains the same so the name change shouldn’t disturb anyone’s links or subscriptions.
As this is the season of “best of” lists, I thought I’d list my top 5 reads of the last two years:
Scribes and Illuminators by Christopher de Hamel (post)
—This deceptively small book was a very informative introduction to the world of medieval book-making. It prompted me to buy two other beautiful books by de Hamel (published by the excellent Phaidon Press).
Illuminating the Word: The Making of the Saint John’s Bible by Christopher Calderhead (post)
—Regular readers know that I am a big fan of the Saint John’s Bible project, and this book gives a detailed, inside view of how this great work of art is being hand-made with the best of old and new technologies.
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer (post)
—This was my first introduction to active reading, and got me started in developing my own reading and note-taking method.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (post)
—It was not as comprehensive as I had hoped but it complements The Well-Educated Mind, and is a classic in its own right.
Long live the book!