Friday, 29 April 2016

Is book dowsing a thing?

One of the things I dream about is having less in my life that means more. 

I recently went through the stupid amounts of books I had to read and got rid of all of them. I closed my NetGalley account. I deleted the list of books I'd accrued on my library wishlist. I returned any books I had borrowed to the relevant quarters - friends, libraries, family - and bagged up those I'd acquired from charity shops, book shops and library sales and donated them. I went to my Kindle account and deleted all those items I had downloaded because they were free or on sale. 

Finally, I was done. 

For the first time in years, I could savour the pleasure of NO reading pile. No clutter of books that I knew in my heart would be lucky to get picked up let alone read. Was this, I wondered, how normal people lived their reading lives? No pending to-do list of reading? How blissful. I could now go to any book or charity shop, any library, any car boot sale, any friend's house, and if I were drawn to a book I could take it away with me and read it. Not put it on a pile. Not bring it back to the house and put it in another room and add another title to my mental to read list and stumble across it, untouched, in a year's time. 

This may sound like pretty tame to someone not interested in reading but to me it was heady stuff and I didn't want to squander what I had. 

I say 'didn't' but as it's the present for me I should change that to 'don't'. I have one book on my reading pile at the moment. ONE book. Ah, it's blissful. What to do when I finish this book? I like the idea of going to my local library and indulging in a bit of book dowsing.

Is that a valid term? It should be.

A quick Google search on the term Dowsing yields this description:
Dowsing is the action of a person--called the dowser--using a rod, stick, or object hung from a string--called a dowsing rod, dowsing stick, doodlebug (when used to locate oil), divining rod, or pendulum--to locate such things as underground water, hidden metal, buried treasure, oil, lost persons or golf balls, etc.

I don't intend to use a rod, stick or object hung from a string to do my dowsing so maybe I can't coin that term at all. Whatever, I'm using it.

I intend to go to that library and walk along a shelf of books picked at random, trailing my fingers along the spines, not looking at them, just feeling them. I'm going to let the next book choose me. Wait to feel a tingle in my fingertips that says here. Stop here. Read me. 

And it will be as easy as checking the book out and taking it home.

It might go horribly wrong and then people can pooh-pooh my hippy plan to their hearts' content. :)

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