What comes first; the book or the blog? The answer of course is neither. The inspiration for the central idea comes first. But then it is written and these days it could be either the book or the blog that precedes the other.
This piece of writing is about the process of reading not writing. How do you read a book? Do you read the book and then move onto the next? Or does your involvement and curiosity extend beyond the book? Do you delve further? Do the central ideas in the book excite and interest you to look further? Does it make you want to investigate new ideas and learn new things?
A successful book for me is one that I read with interest, learn new concepts, then go on to investigate more on the central themes of the book. So I search online for the author to see if they have a website. I read their biographical details either on their website or on Wikipedia. I look at the other books they have written. I read on the see if they have a blog or if they are on twitter. I follow the links provided on their website for further investigation.
For example: The Buddha, Geoff and Me by Edward Canfor-Dumas prompted me to locate this website and his bio and other links. The book had made me curious about the chant mentioned but not described. I found the notes about the chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and then wondered what it sounded like. So I searched online for the audio of the chant and found this one on Youtube and this one by Tina Turner.
So then to the further reading: Edward Canfor-Dumas is the ghost writer for The Buddha in Daily Life by Richard Causton. I could not find a copy of this book available through public libraries so I bought a copy online. Returning to the important but under-valued library catalogue I did a cross-referenced search by subject entries from the original book The Buddha, Geoff and Me. This led me to Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck that I am reading now. Her discussion of zazen has intrigued me and provided me with new avenues for investigation.
This process happens whenever I read a book that I enjoy. Frances Mayes books lead me to learn more about Italy and Art and Architecture and The Renaissance and poetry and more. Reading Gluten Free Girl led me to investigate eating and cooking with a gluten free premise and to her blog.
I will also continue on to see if there may be audio or video versions of a favourite book which can sometimes enhance the content of the story, but other times detract.
As a life-long lover of reading I thrive in the online world and the opportunities there are to expand my mind.
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