I am a very carnivorous reader. Seriously, some might call it an addiction. And when you extend that to my consumption of all forms of content there would be no argument at all. I am also an active user of a website called Goodreads. If you are a reader and are not using it, you should really give it a shot.
One of the things that Goodreads does is allow you to set a reading challenge for yourself for the calendar year. In 2016 I had a goal of 100 books, and ended up reading 103. So I set out in 2017 with a goal of 156 (three books a week). I hit that in August, and decided to reset the goal to 200, which I have hit and will have room to spare by Dec. 31st.
If 200 books seems like a lot it’s because it is. It is an average of just under 4 books a week. No one has time to read that much. Including me. Contrary to what that volume of books suggests, I DO have an active social calendar. I just learned how to fold reading into the everyday business of life.Overdrive
About 40% of my “reading” comes from audiobooks, which I get from an audible.com subscription and , which is an app that delivers audiobooks and ebooks to your phone or tablet. This allows me to fill pockets of time when I am running, cooking, cleaning, driving, showering, etc., with content. Stephen King famously reads for five hours each day. I’m not sure that I hit that high watermark, even with audiobooks, but they provide hours of “reading” that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
I also spent most Sundays, at least in the mornings with coffee, reading. Sundays are my time. I could get lost in a book for a day if I was able. It is one of my most tranquil practices.
As 2017 closes out, I am looking back at my year in reading, and ahead to 2018 and I have some new goals to push myself even further in consuming my first and favorite form of content. I am still debating on the reading goal for the year. But I have decided on a few things I need to do a better job of incorporating into my reading.
I need to get better about non-fiction. My non-fiction shelf of read books for the past several years is anemic. I get so caught up in my love of the unfolding of story that I forget about the great true stories of our past and present, the engaging wealth of knowledge that is out there just waiting to be consumed.
I need to get better about reading any of the several classics that I have missed along the way, which is more than I care to admit as an aspiring author. The greats of the past have influenced the greats of the present that I consume regularly and I want to experience what they have to say.
I also want to read more literary and fiction magazines. Not only because these are publications that I will be submitting to more frequently next year, but because these publications are full of stories by new and emerging authors that I have enjoyed reading in the limited amount I have experienced so far.
I love so many things about reading it is hard to know where to begin. I love exploring the world created by the author and walking with the protagonist on his or her journey. I love what it teaches me about being a writer. But most of all I love what it teaches me about myself as a unique human being.