As 2014 approaches, I am considering what reading goals I would like to achieve. This began as an update for my new Books ’14 tab, but when I couldn’t stop typing, I switched it over to a new post.
Obviously, reading 100 books in a year isn’t difficult. Even when I started college, I knew that I would have to read several books, entirely, in class. But by that time, I had gotten ahead of my reading goals, so that I wouldn’t run out of time when school started. I shouldn’t have worried, as I’m now up to 110 books, with no sign of stopping before New Year’s. Even if you count that I read several Paddington books, which are only slightly over 100 pages, I read a lot of books that had 400-500 pages, so it makes no odds whether I throw any children’s books in there or not.
My goal of reading only books I had not bought for myself (with the exception of school books) has been achieved. I have gone an entire year without buying any books for my own reading pleasure, or buying any new music, for that matter. I’ve been very frugal, and hoping that my spending habits will stay under control, in the New Year. But I do look forward to entering a book store again. For the most part, I stayed out of Barnes & Noble, because I didn’t want to be tempting. Later, I told myself “What’s the point?” because if you can’t buy anything, why wander through and torture yourself with longing? I think the closest I’ve been to anything resembling a bookstore is the book section in Walmart. And after I stop to look, I run away because I just can’t have any of them.
But don’t worry, I have lots of books on my Christmas list, and the year’s almost up. So, what to do for the next year? Just keep track of my reading, and not worry about reaching 100, because college will probably interfere this time? Or maybe I should keep track of my reading, but make the new goal to read 75 books I’ve never read before. Of course, I read plenty of new books, but still, who doesn’t love re-reading their old favorites? How many times have I read my books by L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgsen Burnett, Francine Rivers, and many, many other authors?
Ok, 75 new books might be asking a lot… maybe only 50. I can’t just ignore the old favorites during the year. But a few friends of mine, who have only just seen my bookshelves for the first time, asked me if I’ve read them all. No, I haven’t. Pretty sure I’ve read 75% of them, now, because I donated a huge number of them, in the last few months. But many of the ones I haven’t read are non-fiction, and some of them are huge, so it’s no joke to try and read all of my unread books, in one year.
While Christmas comes up fast, and the New Year runs up right behind it, I’ll continue to think about whether I’ll have any specific goals or not. For now, I’m going back to reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization, by Anthony Esolen. Now that school is out for the Christmas break, I can read whatever I want, for fun, and not get confused between the history I like and the politically correct stuff at least one of my profs has shoveled down my throat. If he could see the book I’m reading, he’d probably have a heart attack, in fact. So, happy reading for everyone, over the holidays!