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Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

Reading Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

i’m paddling my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, though it is definitely taking me more than a week.

Picture of my Library of America Thoreau volume open to ‘Monday’ from ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

I have this Library of America edition, but I’m actually mainly reading it on my phone - Standard Ebooks edition, added to the iOS Books app. The LoA edition has reference notes, so I look at it when I can, but I actually like reading on my phone.

Screenshot of Thoreau Standard Ebook editions in the iOS 'Books' app

From my notebook, June 6, 2022

I think I’m more than 20% of the way into A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers now, so I can officially let myself share it.

Again, though, it’s hard not to think about all the other books I could or should be reading as well.

[Thoreau’s] going off right now about how poetry is the best thing to read and really we should just read poetry and not waste time with anything else. But he’s not exactly writing poetry himself [here], at least not in any traditional idea of poetry.

I want to read Leaves of Grass after this, but I also want to read Walden. And Spring and All. And Catalog of Unabashed Joy. And [Ovid’s] Metamorphosis. And a hundred other things. And a bunch of middle grade and YA stuff. And all the banned books. And all the digital gardening indieweb newsletter stuff. A Week, though. I should give it a week, as it says.

Snapshot of a spread from my notebook, written Monday, June 6, 2022 - portions transcribed above


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