The start of a new year seems as appropriate a time as ever to launch into something I’ve been mulling over since 2016: a re-branding that invigorates this blog with purpose, and takes me a baby step away from the Googloplex. Twelve years ago, when this blog began with my taking literal weekly visits to the library and reporting on what I found there, I was also maintaining a “philosophy/humanities” blog, which started as my attempt to sort out the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Once I’d figured that out (it’s coffee and books), my activity there ebbed away as I focused my literary explorations instead. I had an idea for reviving it, by focusing it on the pursuit of the flourishing life, possibly using the Latin understanding of humanitas as a keystone, but I kept thinking I could do that through the book blog, instead. Reading Freely is my attempt to combine both my literary wanderings and the pursuit of the flourishing — and meaningful — life. Although it will be rooted in the western tradition, my ideas for orienting content mean that it will continue to encompass study of the entire world. There won’t be any drastic changes in content, beyond an uptick in quality-of-life books (a rough description encompassing everything from Stoic literature to modern works on maintaining healthy relationships amid digital distraction), and the possible publication of thoughts inspired by especially insightful books, beyond a review of the same.
Today is the first step, as I christen the blog with a new name, and dust off the twitter account I reserved two years ago. Although I’ve purchased a new domain name (ReadingFreely.com), I haven’t yet jumped over to it because I’m concerned about disrupting old links at places like the Classics Club and people’s blogrolls. I think blogrolls would be safe, but I wanted to announce well before I made the jump so regular readers wouldn’t be caught off guard in the event the old address didn’t forward correctly. At least now you’ll have an idea of what to type if worse comes to worse.