It’s fun to have eyes bigger than your stomach, especially when the gluttony is metaphorical and all you end up with is a pile of more books to be read. It’s even good to feel chastened by what I have not managed to read, because it tests my resolve, and I am determined to be a star Global Reader next year.
Almost every cloud had a silver lining. In this year of failing spectacularly to curtail my book buying, I also read and finished more books on the very same day as buying them than ever before. I did not manage to listen to a single audio book, though I had pledged to do three, and that’s just fine because I’ve discovered that I’m just really, really not an aural learner. When I heard the news of Christopher Hitchens’s death last week, I put on God is Not Great and I listened to him read his own book and it was marvelous. It was also a reminder that few read as well as he, and in the absence of that kind of perfect match, I’d really rather just read my books.
I was glad to have an inducement to read science books, and on the strength of my enjoyment of that challenge, I am pledging to make 2012 a year in which to read more non-fiction to the kids. History! Science! Exploration! My eldest just wrote an essay today on why Science is his favourite subject, and I’m looking forward to finding books that will nurture that interest. We’ve been so blessed to have shared so many hours tucked up with a good story, and I can’t wait now to explore excellence in children’s non-fiction.
My version of the 1% Well Read challenge was to read from books recommended in 1001 Children’s Books To Read Before You Grow Up, and that was, by far, the most fun challenge of the year. Not much of a challenge, it has to be said, but delightful reading.
And this is at the heart of what I discovered about challenges: too many are too easy for me because it is not actually a challenge to read books of Canadian fiction or children’s literature or mysteries because I read them already in great quantity. What is a challenge is staying in touch with others who read them, but I’m not interested in blogging about Canadian literature or children’s literature or mysteries, so it leaves me a bit stuck. I’m undecided about how to proceed with next year’s challenges, but having them has undoubtedly been a boon.
I have read with more focus, zeal and pleasure this year than ever before, and I think that I have felt less of the sadness and stress of “so many books, so little time.” I’ve made the time, night after night, and at the end of this reading year, I am nothing but grateful for books.