Thursday, October 11, 2018

Project October: Day Eleven: Why I Read a Book a Week

October Booklist :)

Writing down the number of books I read is the best practice I have ever adopted.  It really is! Let's just think about that for a minute. ever. ! I mean, I'm trying to find the strongest language I can, because I know there is no way I can emphasize how important it has been for me. Last year, my goal was to read 50 books. To be honest, this was a whole lot of reading for me!  (When I compare myself to others who read upwards of 12 books a month, I'm embarrassed... although I know that when the kids are out of the house someday, I will have enough time to read that many books...!) I have always been a bookworm, but I was a somewhat lazy bookworm. And I never, ever wrote down, or really kept track of how many books I had read.  This year, I am aiming for 55 books.

~inspiration~
Like I said, I have always read a lot- I was an English major in college- and I joined book clubs and took elective classes at a Community College post-graduation. I participated in many a church group, where reading spiritual books certainly played an essential role. Reading is my favorite hobby, because you can take the girl out of the English Lit building, but you can't take the English Lit building out of the girl.  I wasn't a graduate of a fancy shmancy institution for nothing! And being an English major is such a big part of who I am, it is probably a bigger deal than I let on, because let's face it: I approach everything in life from the English major perspective. Is there a book I can read about that?  Could I study that in a book club at some point?  Will reading this help me to articulate something better, or will it help me to process, understand, or identify better with some situation or some person better?  Oh, yeah, and there's also that desire to be entertained. ;)

BUT... I never stopped to really keep track or start counting the books I read, until last year.  Honestly the blogosphere, or the community of which, has thoroughly heightened my love for reading. My blogging friends and acquaintances have given me more impetus to complete books and achieve my personal reading goals than anything I’ve experienced in the past! Blogging is kind of crazy-cool like that. :-)~  I think it's the reader/writer connection.  The inspiration I’ve found has certainly bled into my life. I started hunting down books that inspired me, books that I wanted to read for the sake of my depleting (or was it growing?) ignorance, and finding answers to questions that plagued me.  Reading inspired a writing life, as well. As it should so follow.  And that's not something I’m ready to give up any time soon! So, onward, of course!

Why Do I Read a Book a Week?

~Finding out my passions~
Reading has been so good for finding out what I am passionate about. I didn’t know I how thoroughly interested I was in the British royalty and history until I read The Royal We. I started doing more research online to understand the terms and ideas I didn’t previously know about. I didn’t know Einstein’s life would fill me in on the political atmosphere and climate of Germany in the midst of WWII.  I didn’t know I cared thoroughly and was completely fascinated by the culture of our country during the  Civil War until I read Lincoln.   But I have learned so much, and I want to read more about these fascinating, if difficult, subjects.  I feel my mind only expands when I pick up books about other cultures, even those within the four walls of our country. Ha :)

~Mind-sharpening~
I have been so pleased with how doing more reading has affected my brain and my ability to process information. Also, I feel better equipped to discuss ideas aloud (mostly with Stephen, but also with friends and acquaintances). Perhaps next year, I’ll read even more.  I know it seems that I could be tempted to read JUST to be able to say I read it, and in a sense, you could say that’s the truth. But in actuality, that is too simple. And in a way, it’s simply not the truth. I don’t travel just to say I’ve been somewhere. I travel because I want to branch out, experience someplace new, and grow personally. And the more I travel, the more that happens and the more my mind expands. The same goes with reading. I want to be well-read, personally. Reading keeps my mind sharp, and it is a very good discipline to have.  Some of what I read is fluff,  but it’s never pointless. Much of the modern reading I do fills me in on our culture today. I feel so much less in-the-dark knowing what kind of things are on the NY times bestseller list. I don't want to be trendy. Conversely, I’m not going to be “up on the trends” ten years too late, and I don't want to be! Most important, you never know when some of it may eventually stand the test of time, and our children will be reading some of these popular or currently trendy books, as well.


~Setting an example for my kids~
I want to set an example for my kids, and that’s the final thing I want to say. Having a list and sticking to it is not only something I want to do and something I’m proud of… it is by design: I want to set an example. I want my kids to see them happy to have their nose in a book by E.B White or heck, maybe someday *me*  ???? :) ~  at least some book of a form or fashion, at all times... or at least much of the time!;) It’s a healthy habit, and for me, I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon!  If you are a scholar, an author, or an English major, do you practice this method of counting and keeping track of the books that you read? If you are not one of these things, do you do this too? Tell me I'm not the only one!

Why do I write it down and share it?

~Accountability~

Reading 50 books was about decreasing ignorance, yes, but it was also about achieving a personal goal. This year, as I said, I was hoping to exceed last year’s goal of 50 books, although I wasn’t sure by how much. My original list had about 40 books on it.  In September, I looked at my “Books Read This Year” list, and I was really excited to find out that I had already read 37 books. With all of the traveling, I had time to keep plugging along, and I exceeded my Summer Reading List by several books. It looked like I was on track to push myself a little harder, so I decided to up the ante for myself, by finding an awesome Facebook group, to help hold me accountable to read 55 books before the end of the year.

Cheers, to reading more and writing it down!

How about you? Where are you in your journey? Are you a bookworm?  Tell me about it in the comments. :)



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