I love reading. Books have been a thread through my own story for many years. I can remember my love of reading as a boy, and my willingness to give that up to "fit in" during my middle school years. I remember falling in love with reading all over again as I progressed through my college years. I love their ability to draw me in, to introduce a new idea or re-energize an old one. But I’ve got to be honest, if I really love a book, it’s not very likely I’ll let you borrow my copy.
Why? Because many years ago I decided to start looking at each book as a unique experience. I saw it as an opportunity to sit across a table and have a discussion with the author. Sometimes that means we argue, sometimes we agree, but either way you will find the margins of some of my favorite books are filled with scribbles, underlines, arrows and arguments. Most of the time I’ve been honest enough I wouldn’t feel comfortable with you reading those unfiltered thoughts. But that exercise, that interaction with the author has allowed me to process what I read in ways I couldn’t before.
The next time your read something that you disagree with, tell the author. Cross out the paragraph, tell him why you disagree. Fill the margins! Share counter points or where you see that thought applying to your current situation.
How do you interact with your books? Let me know @stevenjbarker.