I realize I haven’t been writing all that much these past few months. Or rather, not all that much that Like Fire readers want to read—ask me about metadata schema analyses, library service analysis literature reviews, and exhibit plans, if you dare. But I have been reading, and not only of the required variety. Pleasure reading has been my chief indulgence in an indulgence-poor year, and I’ll be back in a few weeks to wrap up the highlights. But in the meantime, I’ve contributed a bright spot from my literary safe place to Open Letters Monthly’s Our Year In Reading feature in the December issue (and don’t miss Part I, which is here).
As always, the OLM crew has showcased an inspiring variety of choices. If I didn’t know these people, I’d want to, based on their reading alone. And also for this message, from Editor-in-Chief Sam Sacks. You can substitute “books” for “teachers” if you want, but the idea is right on the money:
An uncomfortable truth: Save for the slivers of experience in which we call ourselves specialists, we’re amateurs at most of what we do. So it may be that the measure of our lives is gauged by the passion with which we embrace our dilettantism—and, not far removed, by the teachers we find to guide us.
In a year when academia, and the texts that accompany it, has been both a blessing and a curse, that’s a good thing to remember.