On Commonplacing

I have been commonplacing since my youth. The first book of commonplace I created was when I was 10 years old, war was raging all around me and I spent the best part of a full academic year hiding in an underground shelter with no other company than a heavy stack of books, a substantial pile of candles and battery-powered lights, a thick notebook, a lead pencil and 5 coloured pencils. I read to immerse myself in other people’s lives. I read to create another reality which ran parallel to the atrocities around me. I opted for the longer volumes, irrationally believing that I wouldn’t die if I was in the middle of a story. If I felt hungry, I read; thirsty, I read; sleepy, I read; lonely, bored, excited, angry, vengeful, thoughtful, claustrophobic, empty…whatever the feeling, a book appeased it. (read more)

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