Reigniting My Love for Reading
Reading 1000 books is on my bucket list, number 16 if we're being specific. As a kid, I used to go to the library almost every week and check out as many books as I could carry. I would read these books late into the night, going into the bathroom for hours under the guise of using the potty when I was secretly just reading. I could finish Book It challenges in a week, easily earning my free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. My parents would punish me by taking away my library privileges when I misbehaved--which might be why I was such a good kid. In grade 2, I won a school wide contest for the most pages read in a month, and my school went from Kindergarten to grade 8. I was a bookworm and I loved it.
And then high school came around along with the discovery of the internet. Instead of having my nose in a book until the wee hours of the morning, I would be chatting away on ICQ and MSN Messenger (and every once in a while, AIM). Instead of getting lost in stories of far off places or mysteries and murders that were happening in a different day and age, I would busy myself with chatting with friends online. Over time, my library card collected dust and the books that I had once fallen asleep in were forgotten. Maybe it was the part where I was being assigned mandatory reading that made it less fun. Or maybe I was just a teenager who was more concerned with her social life than her intellectual one. Before I knew it, it had been years since I had picked up a book for fun.
Until recently. A few years ago, I quit my job and started funemployment with a sail of trust across the Med. On that trip, I polished off 17 or so books in the span of 6 weeks, and it felt AMAZING. Motivated, I thought I would continue reading, albeit at a slower pace, once I got back to land. But that motivation didn't last long, until this year. I have an internet friend who I met because we have mutual friends and his status one day popped up in my feed. I was intrigued by the things that he had to say and we connected online, and he was the catalyst to my return to reading.
You see, he reads at least 52 books a year. Or he has for the past few years. Towards the end of 2016, he was sharing his reading stats and I felt inspired. Also, how bad ass would it be to say that you read a book a week? Ask any brilliant leader and they'll all share one common piece of advice: reading keeps you sharp and your creativity flowing. So, I set a crazy goal for myself. It wasn't even a stretch goal because it went above and beyond that: I wanted to read 52 books in 2017.
(If I'm going to read 1000 books in my life, and 52 books in a year, I need to compile a list of books to choose from. I've chosen Goodreads as the method of how I'll track my reads. Connect with me there and shoot me your recommendations as well!)
So, how's that goal going? Not well and well, at the same time. It's not going well because I think I'm on book 12 and it's week 46 of the year. Even if I put myself on a sailboat and sailed across the Med, there is no way I would be able to reach my goal by the end of the year. That's the not well part. But the well part is this: I'm on book 11. I rediscovered the library. I have 4-5 half read books on my night stand. And I've been enjoying the path to get here. I've already read more books this year than I have since 2014. I've found a new form of self care. And I've found a new challenge for me to try, again. 2017, you won this round. I'm coming for you again in 2018 though.
P.S. If you're curious about the books I've read this year, here they are:
- The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
- A Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find -- and Keep -- Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
- Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario
- I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur