- A feeling of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.
- Synonyms include dismay, perturbation, anxiety, distress, disquiet, disquietude, discomposure, angst, trepidation
I have a little bookshop in Strathalbyn, SA.
Every day I meet readers. They come from such vastly different regions and places, backgrounds and experiences that I began to make notes on all the people, ideas and thoughts that I encountered here. These collected interactions came to represent a reservoir of experiences so rich, unpredictable and diverse that when I re read them I felt an urgency to also preserve them.
There are many kinds of readers. And I have learned not to presume that one reader belongs to this group and not that because reading is as personal as jewellery and as private as underwear.
An experience with a book is not duplicated with a later reading. Nobody experiences the same book in the same way. And few people can explain the sensation of being broadsided by the sheer beauty and craftsmanship of the greatest writing they have encountered so far.
But I do recognise the times that I meet with the readers from what I call the Library of Consternation. This means reading at risk, without lists, and regardless of norms. It can mean immersion into the murky waters of unknown authors, disquieting writing, confronting ideas and difficult concepts. Eventually it comes to define the reader rather than the book. This type of reading never ends.
It is for these readers that I write this diary.