10. The goal is not to be a media darling; the goal is to have a career.
I believe in magazines. You could even say my devotion to Stoke ‘zine was a kind of “common grace” expression of believing in the sacramental power of the Word. It’s like I had a inchoate sense of the unique grace and influence of a word become flesh.He offers a few high altitude principles and some practical tips on getting the work done. (via Justin Taylor)
All of that to say: I believe in what you are doing, and it’s an honor to think with you about this calling to publish our little journals. To be committed to such endeavors is to believe, as Raymond Carver put it, in “small good things.”
. . .
My colleague Fr. Raymond de Souza, editor of Convivium magazine, recalls a conversation he once had with Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of First Things: “‘Raymond,” he said, “if you want to advance an idea, write a book. But if you want to change a culture, you need a magazine. Because magazines are literally periodical, they create an ongoing community—readers, writers, editors, benefactors. And only communities can change cultures.”
Dorothy Sayers encourages readers to engage the work in their laps, not just kill time with it.
"Pray get rid of the idea that books are each a separate thing, divided from one another and from life. Read each in the light of all the others, especially in the light of books of another kind," she says.If you don't like what you're reading, think through your reasons. "Does the subject displease you? — and if so, is it by any chance one of those disquieting things that you 'would rather not know about', though you really ought not to shirk it? Does the author’s opinion conflict with some cherished opinion of your own? — If so, can you give reasons for your own opinion? (Do try and avoid the criticism that begins: 'We do not like to think' this, that or the other; it is often so painfully true that we do not like to think.)"
She also thinks marking up your book is foolish, perhaps because you won't remember where to find your notes afterwards.
In response to this, Alan Jacobs observes the different occasions for reading and how they aren't all the same. We read for fun and we read for specific purposes, and not necessarily at the same time.
What many of these people really want, it seems to me — and I base this on decades of talking with folks who are anxious about their reading — is not to read Henry James but to be the kind of person who, when left at loose ends, positively wants to read Henry James, wants to read Henry James so much that he or she will toss aside Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Fifty Shades of Grey without even noticing what they are in order to get to that precious copy of The Ambassadorsthat someone has inexplicably left at the bottom of a stack.