03 June 2005

Bookmark Now

I started reading Bookmark Now, a collection of essays edited by Kevin Smokler, during a meeting this week, because it was the only book I had with me and the meeting was tedious. I ended up reading the whole thing over the course of a couple of days, even when I was just sitting at home and could have read something else.

The subtitle of Bookmark Now is "Writing in Unreaderly Times", which is a far more pessimistic view than most of the essays in the book offer. What it really is is a collection of pieces by writers, most of them in the twenties or thirties, about being a writer or a reader. Some of the essays are fluff, and some of the writers seem to think that publishing a book or a story or a blog entry has given them The Right To Be Profund, but for the most part these are engaging, diverse perspectives and stories. I particularly liked Kelley Eskridge and Nicola Griffith's reflections on living and writing together, Paul Collins's chronicle of spending a year reading old issues of Notes & Queries, Stephanie Elizondo Griest's thoughts on identity and history, and K.M. Soehnlein's consideration of the current state of gay fiction. (A full list of contributors is available at the website for the book.)

It was a good way to get through a boring meeting (hidden, of course, behind Important Papers), and a pleasant diversion from a bunch of other things I really should be reading...