An Ordinary World

books, blabberings, and a life semi-common

Getting My Read On

Seven days into the new year and I’m only now beginning my first book of 2011. That’s a bit strange for me, seeing as I’m usually reading as much as I can whenever I can.

It happens.

For me, reading is as simple and as essential to life as breathing. I don’t have to think about; I just do it. I keep a list every year of the books I read and reread, not only to “keep count” but so that I remember what I liked and disliked and to see if there were any trends for a particular year. While I understand people who challenge themselves to a new number every year (I once did that, after all), I’ve come to learn that the experience of reading a book or returning to a lost world is much more satisfying than rushing to finish some pages so that another tick mark can be counted.

Perhaps it’s a bit like lovers. The quantity doesn’t matter to me, only the quality of those special enough to even be considered a tick mark.

I’ve often seen people (on Twitter, in blogs, on Facebook, etc.) talk about their “need” to reach 50 books in a single year. There is a clear distinction between a reader basking in the glow of reaching a new number and a person attempting to become a reader by counting in the numbers. It’s actually disheartening for me to see. I want to tell those people to sit  back, relax, and enjoy a new universe, enjoy the science of turning a page. I want to tell them that numbers don’t mean anything.

I digress.

I’m off to read my first book and I do hope it’s good. I’m going to try my best to actually blog about a book after I’ve finished it rather than merely keep my list. So often, I want to share my joys or my fears or my distaste in something that was written but I forget. Maybe 2011 will see a change in that. I truly hope so!

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4 responses to “Getting My Read On

  1. jilly 7 January 2011 at 11:12 pm

    eep! I am behind in my reading. Water for Elephants is next on my list. Then I need to read Mockingjay and Crescendo. After that… who knows? 🙂

  2. Sara 10 January 2011 at 11:31 am

    Agreed! I’m so sad when I see people go, “I want to read 100 books in a year!” because I KNOW that they’re going to read as fast as they can to hit the number instead of soaking in the actual book. Granted, I’m proud as heck that I reached 53 books last year… but I wasn’t TRYING to reach 53, I just did. Big difference, and am so glad that you understand that. Because sometimes I feel crazy. :p

    • Mary 10 January 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Well of course you should be proud of that! I don’t even mind when people set a goal for themselves. Hell, I do that still sometimes, but the big point here is that if I’m nowhere near that number? I don’t go reading any mindless book I can just to reach a quota. I see people who do that and just want to grab them and shake them and say, “NO! What matters is that you took something away from that book! Or that you enjoyed it! Not that it’s just another tick mark in your notebook!”

      Sigh.

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