I’m not a book a day type of person, but I do read a substantial amount. The vast majority of my reading is dedicated to philosophy and philosophy adjacent books. Disciplines like anthropology, cognitive science, feminism, sociology, classics, and many others have a large intersection with philosophy, and so I am exposed, intrigued, and entertained by varied approaches to writing.
Philosophers have a history of relying on great works of literature and film to help them propel thought problems in new directions. I was exposed to writers like Aristophanes, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Arthur Conan Doyle, even J.K. Rowling because of their works being mentioned, used, and relied on in philosophical arguments.
Outside of philosophy however, my reading dossier is very limited. I can count on one had how many books I’ve read without taking notes in the margins and underlining what I consider to be essential points of an argument’s progression.
Toward the end of 2021 I was moved to add to that limited index. I committed myself to read one adventure book sans highlighter, pencil, and notebook each month for the duration of 2022. In addition I have agreed to follow the phenomenal trend of creating a book aesthetic for each month’s book.
I have to admit that I am a bit of a luddite, and so my exposure to internet trends and tech is limited. But the ‘book aesthetic’ trend is a trend that I can happily get behind. Essentially, after completing a book, you select and arrange photos that capture your interpretation, emotions, and the highlights of the book. Set those photos to some music that serves the same purpose, limit it to around twenty to thirty seconds, and send it out into the ether.
People who see the aesthetic, may be inspired to read the same book, or inspired to make their own aesthetic, thus inviting others to read and share what they’ve read, and on and on and on. There are some very impressive examples on TikTok and Instagram. Mine however will be a work in progress., but hopefully, there will be some noticeable improvement along the way. Time will tell!
For the month of January I read Apsley Cherry-Gerrard’s book The Worst Journey in the World. The book was terrific, it was refreshing to read with enjoyment as my sole intent. The book aesthetic doesn’t do justice to the story, but I enjoyed trying to put it together.
Here’s how it turned out in case you want to take a look!
For February I am reading Mark Synnott’s best seller The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest. Feel free to join me in embracing this trend, or join me in reading along, or join me in both. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books, and I would also love to hear your thoughts on how these short videos turn out.