I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t have the follow-through to make them happen, and then I just feel crappy because I couldn’t do it. (Let’s not forget that I tend to make terrible resolutions, impossible to achieve or at least very unlikely, and then lump them all together instead of focusing on one area at a time. For instance, “Wash dishes every day” or “lose 50 pounds” or “publish a book” or “pay off all debts.” One of those for a whole year – possible, but difficult – all of them together – not gonna happen.)
This year, I noticed that quite a few of the blogs I follow are talking quite a lot about books. Oh, books. I miss books. I have a bajillion of them, many of them as yet unread, crowding my insufficient shelving units. Many, but still insufficient, shelving units. I still buy them, though at a substantially reduced rate (knowing I won’t make time to read them very quickly), but I can’t help myself. I still love books. I still love reading; so why don’t I read more?
I could blame it on the kids, but that’s a cheap out. I could cut back my tv-watching and mindless internet browsing and not noticeably diminish my online presence or even miss anything important. Truth is, I just…don’t. No reason. It’s easier to stare mindlessly at the tv or pop open the laptop and browse, especially when you want to read something and not have to think about it too hard. Or, if you want to read something and have to think about it, but want to wait until that magical opportunity when you won’t be interrupted every two minutes. (With a 3- an 1-year-old, that does not happen.)
So, I’m not reading. Not books, at any rate. This is ridiculous. They’re right there! What’s the problem? Priority. I can knit a mini-shawl in a week without breaking a sweat; surely I can read a book in that same amount of time and not be taking time away from anything important. Possibly housecleaning, but that’s a Sisyphean task, so that’s not even really in the same category as “important.”
Therefore, my goal is to read 52 books this year. Maybe more, who knows? No genre specifications, no restrictions on re-reading, other than once read for the challenge, it doesn’t count a second time. Whatever I feel like reading, so long as it’s a book. Who knows, maybe I’ll start on one shelf and see if I can read my way through it. (Probably not. Most of my bookshelves are stacked two books tall as well as two deep. One shelf could have as many as 120 books on it. I bet several do. I do still want to be able to knit now and then this year.)
The goal is not necessarily one book a week. Some books are longer than others, and some weeks tend to be shorter than others. The goal is 52 in a year, so as long as I stay somewhere around one a week, I’ll be fine. Nothing says I can’t pick up the Tao of Pooh or Gilgamesh for a quick catch-up read.
What do you say we do this thing on Friday? (She asked, as if this was some sort of democracy.) And since one week of the year has already passed, let’s not dilly-dally any longer, eh?
Week 1: Murder on the Links, a Hercule Poirot novel by Agatha Christie.
I love Poirot. I love Christie. There will be more of these, you can count on it. Just when you think you have it figured out, well…Poirot’s little gray cells prove you wrong. I’m don’t generally like being wrong, but when Poirot tells you you’re wrong, somehow it doesn’t sting quite as badly.