My Reading Log

In a used bookstore in 1998, I purchased Louis L’Amour’s Education of a Wandering Man. A great read. His remarks caused me to realize more than ever how travel or journeys or adventures can provide fodder for a writer’s stories. I was raised (I never grew up, I guess) in Dallas, Texas, and I had seen L’Amour’s books on the bookshelves of my parents, relatives, and other people we visited. He may have been the first popular author I ever knew about. I read several of his books at an early age, yet in 1998, the stories took on new meaning because I felt like I knew the man who wrote them.
L’Amour had one intersting habit he developed during those Depression years when he was hopping trains, traveling from one job to another. He kept lists of the books he read each year. I decided to imitate that practice, and my little book diary lists the books I’ve read every year since. It’s the closest I’ve come to keeping a diary or journal in any systematic way, and a good tool for my writing ideas and self-analysis. I think the book diary is also a legacy I can leave to my children. Maybe it will help them understand their somewhat mad, writer-father. More on this topic later.