There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar

Imagine settling in on the train for a long commute home. You pull out a phone or tablet and pick up where you left off in your latest book. From across the aisle, a stranger observes you slouching into your seat, your face slackened as your eyes drift back and forth over the screen. Apart from the occasional chuckle, you appear to be doing a whole lot of nothing.

When Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the phrase “creative reading,” he identified something beyond the basic fact of eyes moving across the page. A reader brings her own imagination and experience to a book, making something new out of the author’s text. A book is read in different ways by each of its readers, and in fact, the very same reader might experience a book differently the second time around.

As a reader, you might already be convinced that reading is a creative practice. But until recently, the art of reading was bound up in paper books. A prolific reader might have little to show for his work, besides shelves heavy with books and the notes scribbled in their margins. In order to learn something about a reader’s creativity, you might have to stop by for a visit and thumb through the pages of her library.

By reading with Readmill, you’ve created a record of your practice as a reader. Some of this has been active, in the highlights, reviews and comments you made. The rest of it we’ve taken care of for you, taking note of how, when and where you’ve read, as well as the other readers you may have encountered along the way.

This book is a glimpse of who you are as a reader, and it was created in many ways by you. We decided to share it with you in the form of a book because we had a feeling you’d like that sort of thing. You can read it from start to finish, if you like, or browse around and linger over favorite parts. With any luck, you’ll return to it again one day with fresh eyes, and the reader you will be then will wonder at the reader you are just now.