What the Heck Is a Polylego?

I am a Polylego. What, you’ve never heard the term? Of course not, I just made it up. I needed a word to describe my habit of reading multiple books at the same time. Poly, means “many”–which of course you know. Lego, also the name of a very successful toy brand beloved by my son, boyfriend, and legions of others, means, “I read” in Latin. Thus, we are henceforth dubbed, polylegos. You’re welcome.

When I was nineteen I tattooed the Japanese character for “to seek” on my ankle. It looks like this: . Later, I read a different definition, one I thought had much more poetic heft: To crawl out of a dark hole. I like the idea that my quest for insight, ideas, and beauty is a quest to emerge from an unenlightened darkness.

There’s only one wrong way to read books: Not reading books.

My writing professor in college wrote a recommendation letter for me in 2001, when I was considering graduate school. He wrote, “Her mind is catholic, she is not dogmatic, she is curious and committed to possibilities.” I’ve remembered his words all these years because he saw in me what I wasn’t yet able to articulate about myself. A catholic mind is wide-ranging in tastes or interests. I’m a polylego in order to obey my natural inclination to seek new information, bringing ideas from disparate sources together, and finding connections that bring light to my darkness. You’ve seen the results of this collection in my blog posts this year. (I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.)

Picking which book I want to spend my reading time with depends on the mood of the day. I feel drawn to one or the other and follow my inclination without question. A mix of fiction and nonfiction balances my love of story with my craving for knowledge. The variety of writing styles, topics, and storylines means I always have some gorgeous world to tuck into that fits the moment.

This post was previously published on You are Awesome and is republished here with permission from the author.

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Photo credit: You are Awesome

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