“Contented Reader” is an aspirational name. I hope to be content with the simple pleasures of my life- a good meal, a job I don’t hate, a good book read in the sunshine.
People seem to assume that everyone who loves to read must want to publish their own books. I make a different choice: I have no ambitions to be a professional writer. Hooray for professional writers, who work so hard to create books for me to read. Hooray for publishers and editors, who use good taste and discernment to spread good books through the world. Hooray for critics, who bring the best books to the people who will most enjoy them. I’m not a writer, a publisher, or a critic. But my place in the literary world is necessary. I’m a reader. The writers, publishers, and critics dedicate their life and their work to making me happy, and I appreciate it.
I don’t actually read all the time, despite appearances. I work in a public school, teaching English to junior high school students. My teaching style is simple, direct, and organized. I try to be a competent teacher. That leads to different behaviors than people who aspire to be great teachers. They will never make a movie about my classroom, and you’ll never ever read an article in my city newspaper about my teaching. I am not trying to make a splash, or to do something amazing and revolutionary. I am just trying to teach useful skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I don’t expect my students to remember me when they leave my classroom. I do expect them to remember how to make their subjects and verbs agree, and how to organize their thoughts into writing that communicates with other people effectively, and how to understand what they read. It isn’t a glamorous job, but it is a rewarding one.
This blog is a place for me to reflect on my reading, and on the experience of being a reader. I started the blog in July of 2011. It’s an experiment. I will maintain it for one year, and see whether I find some readers, and whether blogging is useful for me as a way of reflecting on my reading. In July 2012, I’ll decide whether I’d like to continue the blog or abandon it.
You can contact me at email@example.com