Over the past three years, I’ve read hundreds of articles and books related to Florida politics, alcoholism, and history. Even though I don’t have but a few true primary sources (i.e., Emmett’s letters or documents), the bibliography I’ve assembled on Emmett, his family, friends, and colleagues, is extensive.
Even with all of that reading, I still feel like I’m missing a connection to Emmett and his colleagues. I feel a need to immerse myself in the time period itself. A time machine would be my first choice; because that isn’t available, immersing myself myself in the contemporary literature is the next best choice.
I also realize that I’ve read fewer books in my life over the past two or three years. I’m a voracious reader, and it troubles me that I’ve become increasingly distracted by Internet news outlets, and social media (what I call spasmodic reading), especially since the the 2016 Presidential election. It has always been a subject of pride for me that I’ve read critically and deeply all my life, but that has slipped in the last several months. I believe that a connection with physical books will help.
I don’t make “New Year’s” resolutions, because I feel that one can and should start a healthy new habit at any time they need it — the timing of this new resolution happens to be January 3, 2017! This year, I’ve decided to read the contemporary literature from the 1900s to the 1920s, one book a week.
I know the books that were popular and advertised in Pensacola’s local bookstores; also, I have access to the bestseller lists. I also know who the popular authors were in Emmett’s circle of acquaintances. I can better understand the language, the humor, the concerns, the political questions, the social mores, and so forth.
I’ll document the books and my progress here, in the blog.