January 19th, 2016

Much like this whole blog-post-a-day thing isn’t really a resolution but kinda is, I’m also making a not-really-a-resolution to read more this year. Last year I didn’t read nearly as much as I’d like, and worse I didn’t really keep track of it at all.

My plan this year is to use my Goodreads account much more diligently than last. It even has a challenge embedded the site for reading X number of books in a calendar year. When prompted I entered a modest goal of 25 books. I believe I was somewhere in the teens for 2015, though I can’t be sure.

Tonight I finished the first book, The 5th Wave, which I’m going to review over there and will link to here once it’s done. Briefly I really enjoyed it and want to check out the others in the series, and I’ll be going to see the movie with my cousin this coming Sunday.

Next in my queue is David Mitchell’s Slade House, which I kind of have to read, yeah? I loved Cloud Atlas, even if I never did get around to seeing the movie adaptation, so I’ve got high expectations for this one. I’m enjoying it so far though admittedly I’m not that far into it.

I’ll admit, part of my desire to read more comes from this link, which I saw shared on social media somewhere recently. I’m not sure if it was on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere, but please feel free to let me know if you shared it and would like credit.

The post at that link attempts to give a graphical representation to various milestones and events in your life, both meaningful and mundane alike. Some of it really makes you think – especially the part of spending time with your parents and family – but I was also struck by the author’s representation regarding books.

He posited that he read five books a year, so by the estimate of living until the age of ninety he had approximately three hundred books left to read. Which sounds like a fair number of books, but when you compare that to the number of books out there, plus those yet to be written, it seems like such a small number. Seeing it represented graphically compared to something mundane, as he did with the number of dumplings he’ll eat between now and then, and it looks downright scary.

Now I’ll likely read more than five books a year, I hope, and like everyone I don’t know how much time I’ll have either, but that number startled me. I have way too many books that I’m either in the middle of reading or that I’ve bought to read and haven’t started yet, and the thought that I just might never get to them struck home harder than I thought it would.

The main takeaway from that post, I believe, was to emphasize appreciating your loved ones and spending time with them. That is certainly true and an extremely important fact of which to be aware, but it’s also important to do the things you love and want to do as well. Reading is one of those things for me and I’m hoping that 2016 will lead to a marked increase in that area along with my writing.

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