The Common Reader is the title of two collections of essays and articles written by Virginia Woolf. I like to think that if she’d been alive today many of these would have appeared first in her blog. I feel sure she would have had one!
In The Common Reader (Second Series, 1932) she wrote an essay entitled: ‘How Should One Read A Book?’ The following is a quotation from that essay.
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down for books?
It applies to reading, and writing about reading.
And might it not also apply to writing, and writing about writing?
I am going to take it as a kind of manifesto for this website where I am intending to blog about my reading and writing.