Shocking report leads
to new commitment to read
Monday, January 06, 2014 5:43 AM
Over the past year I've been tracking the books I read on the Goodreads.com website. Not only can you rate the books you read, you can write reviews and see what your friends are reading. You can create bookshelves for books you've read or want to read in the future and your friends can see what you have been reading and make recommendations or comments.
At the end of 2013, Goodreads sent out a report of the books I've read throughout the year. A total of 11. It surprised me. My first thoughts were that some mistake had been made. I surely read more than that. Eleven books over the course of a year? That's less than a book a month. I used to read a book a week, at least. Some Saturdays and Sundays, when I had a full day at home, I'd read a complete book. Right?
But, as I reviewed the list of books I'd read last year, to the best of my memory, I found only one or two missing. I recalled a few books I'd read, but neglected to record them on the website. But even adding those in,12 or 13 books seemed disappointing to me.
As a point of interest, I went on to the online bookstores and reviewed my order history and discovered that I'd purchased a few more books than I had read last year. That did NOT surprise me. No wonder my bookshelves are bulging. Considering that the 12 or 13 books I read last year included several ebooks I borrowed from SELCO, many of the books I purchased over the past year have gone unread. That's a tragedy.
I resisted the urge to visit the online after-holiday book sale that I love to peruse after Christmas . . . well, for a few days anyway. I gave in on New Year's Eve after consuming a few glasses of wine and finishing one last book for 2013. I added a few books to my shopping cart, had second thoughts and emptied it before closing out of the website. However, those thoughts of $1.99 best sellers got the best of me as I waited for midnight to arrive and I spent about an hour filling up my cyber shopping cart once again before checking out, satisfied with my bargain shopping. I will have 10 more books to add to my shelves - and I hope it will not take all year to read them!
Oh - there is so much to read and so little time! I've even borrowed a series of books from my niece that I hope to read over the next few weeks. She promised me they are a fast read, so perhaps they will give me a good jump start on meeting my reading goal of 2014 - to read 30 books!
I have determined that my reading time has been adversely affected by my television viewing - Hulu and Netflix have provided me with too many options for entertainment and I have neglected my books.
Aging eyes, which tire much more quickly than they used to, have also played a part in my reduced reading time. Having to wear glasses when reading now, it is more difficult to enjoy a book in bed before going to sleep and I can't just stick a book in my bag to read whenever I have a free minute. No, I also need to have a pair of glasses close at hand and be in a location with good lighting. But, I'm not going to let these inconveniences interfere with my love of reading. I have too many books just waiting to be enjoyed!
I am currently reading "The Book Thief," a young adult novel about a family hiding a Jew during the Holocaust in Germany during World War II. I thought it would be a fast read, considering it was written for a younger audience, but it's not quite what I expected. It is a wonderful book - a bit different in style than what I usually read - but a touching story nonetheless.
So, while I am not calling it a resolution per se, I am making a new commitment to reading this year. I will spend less time in front of the television and more time in my rocking chair, under a good lamp, enjoying a book. I am also vowing to clean off my book shelves in the process, promising myself to pass my books on to others after I've read them. Books don't do anyone any good sitting on a shelf. They should be enjoyed and shared, from one reader to the next.
If you want to join me in a 2014 reading challenge, join goodreads.com and seek me out to become my "friend." You can see what I've been reading and can see my ratings and reviews of each book. I, in turn, will enjoy seeing what you have been reading too.
I'm looking forward to reading more this year, but also sharing that love of books with others.
Happy reading to you all!