Friday, December 14, 2012

Challenge met!

I used to be a voracious reader. As a kid, I once set fire to bathrobe and blanket I'd draped over a plastic mushroom lamp in my bedroom (yes, it was the '70's) so that I could secretly read late into the night.  I had a hard time explaining the melted lamp the next day. After that, I took to lying on the floor reading by the tiny bit of light coming in under the door from the hallway. In high school, I made my way down the hallways between classes reading a book as I walked, and then tried to read surreptitiously under the desk. When I had my first baby, I'd sit in an armchair for hours holding a book off to whichever side he wasn't nursing on at the moment. Later, when I was reading the Harry Potter series to my boys, I discovered I could read one page aloud while silently reading ahead on the opposite page. Occasionally, when something bad was coming up on the next page, I'd say, "Oh no!" and the kids would yell, "Mom, don't do that!"
But in recent years, I'd stopped reading much just for fun. Life got in the way - the pressures of running a household on my own with the endless projects required by purchasing an old house, managing a private practice, various relationships. But at the beginning of this year, my sister called my attention to the Goodreads website where you could challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year's time. I set a goal of a couple of books a month and started reading. By July, I was well ahead of schedule, and bumped the 24 up to 36. A couple of days ago, I finished the last book, with half a month to spare.
I'm taking a book break for the last bit of 2012, before I start the 2013 challenge. In the meantime, I'm plowing my way through a stack of New Yorker magazines I brought home from the office. There were a dozen or so from 2009 and 2010, and tonight, I start in on the 2011 pile. I just read the parts that interest me - articles on biosynthetics, the oddly conservative founder of Whole Foods, cryonics, building safe cooking stoves for impoverished African countries, changes in the cookbook industry, the problem of intersexed athletes, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, rising health care costs, Michelin guide restaurant inspectors.  So much to read, so little time!

29 comments:

  1. nice job...36 is a pretty good pace...i have fallen off my reading habit quite a bit...i might need to set a goal for myself this year...

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    1. Somehow, it helps me. I like to think I"m not competitive, but I am with myself.

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  2. I've had the best year ever SAW (I've logged my reading for several years) with well over 70. I'm as pleased as punch and congrats to you too.

    *sigh* so many books, so little time. I said it first, ior a variant thereof accorind to family lore when I was 4 when confronted with towering shelves at the library.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. I used to read like that, easily polishing off a book in a night. But my God, am I busy now! Still, it's worth it.

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  3. WTG!! I think that is wonderful that you got involved with this and made your goal (and even increased your goal!) I'm like you; love to read but somehow over the years (blogs) my actual reading of books decreased significantly. Now I make the effort to get books from the library and get them read before they are due; I definitely have read more these past two years then the last six years before that.

    betty

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    1. I swapped a bunch of books with my sister, and that helped, too. I do love the worlds you encounter when you read.

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  4. I love the goodreads app. It's fun to explore their different lists and they make it easy to save things to your to-read list. You know how much I love to read, though I didn't read at all when I worked, so I don't know how you do it. I just picked up a small stack of books from the library to enjoy over the holidays, which makes me very happy.

    And I would enjoy reading about any of the topics you mentioned from The New Yorker.

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    1. There is something magical about gathering up books from the library. Although that pile on y bedroom floor will probably keep me busy for a while! And of course, I'm determined to get through the New Yorkers.

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  5. I'm doing well if I read more than 36 books a year, I'm quite a slow reader. I would wither on the vine if I didn't always have a book on the go, even if it's a crappy one that's a struggle to finish. I can't imagine how people can never pick up a book at all.

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    1. The one thing I have going for me is that I'm a fast reader - always have been. But I do NOT keep reaing a book I'm hating.

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  6. I love to read, also. As the cliche goes, I'll read anything, even cereal boxes. I read a lot more since I got my Kindle. I read on my phone. It's great.

    Train of Thought

    Everyone Has the Answer

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    1. I read things like cereal boxes, too. And yes, the Kindle app on my iPad helps. I don't like to read on my phone, though - too small.

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  7. ah, feels good to get back to it, doesn't it?

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  8. Thanks for the website tip. I read a lot of professional literature related to my research and teaching, but have woefully little time for novels. I should make more.

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    1. Me, too - and I find that reading things un-related to my work really helps me.

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  9. I read but not as much as you. That's an interesting talent you used on Harry Porter. Physicist Richard Feynman (read a few things of his) once did an experiment trying to figure out what he could simultaneously do such speaking a story and adding numbers. I don't remember the various combinations but he found a classmate could do a different combination than him but not the combination that Richard did. Our minds are wired differently which I imagine you know more about than me.

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    1. And often we don't even know what sorts of mental tricks we are capable of because it doesn't occur to us to try.

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  10. My reading has followed a similar course. In 2005 I read over 200 books. Last year I barely made a dozen. Mind you, one of them was Michener, but still.

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    1. As a teen/young adult I used to read hundreds books a year - often a book a day. Of course, I wasn't a single parent working full-time then!

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  11. I love Goodreads. I'm 3 books away from my 90 book challenge it'll be 2 by the end of the day today...

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    1. I so wish I had more time. The parent/career combo is a killer.

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  12. BRAVA! 36 books! You GO, girl!

    When I was younger, I didn't like to read. But then as I got older, I became a book addict and read everything I could get my hands on. I especially love biographies and auto-biographies.

    Now, spending so much time on the Internet, I don't read books as much. But there is nothing like sitting down with a cup of tea and reading a book. I've got to do more of that in 2013!

    Hope you're enjoying this holiday season, my friend!

    X

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    1. The internet has decreased reading, I think. Partly because it involves a lot of reading!

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  13. Congratulations, that is an achievement!!! I like reading too but nowhere near that number. The most I think I would read is 12 books a year. I noticed Bill Brysons book in your pile there, he he. I would laos love to read through a pile of New Yorker magazines, the articles sound really interesting. I wonder what you may get for Christmas??

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    1. I have read several other Bryson books (including the one about Australia, "In a Sunburned Country") and I'm looking forward to tackling this one.

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  14. I am a fan of reading, both for pleasure and knowledge...and sometimes the two even overlap! Love Goodreads too. I recently finished my challenge of 75 books for the year. Some of that
    wais not terribly heavy reading though.
    It is always a good feeling to know another reader :)

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    1. Heavy reading, light reading, it's all reading! And yes, it is. :-)

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  15. Your amazing and congratulations! I enjoy reading but never take the time to do it. I wasn't raised with reading. I only read about 3 books a year but I have a large collection. I love buying books!!!

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