Oh, I know I’m terrible for this. Every year I talk about blasted new year’s resolutions, and every year I ignore them until approximately November, shrug, and mark up another year of failure.
But here I go again!
This time, I’m not doing traditional new year’s resolutions. Instead, I’m finally going to put my Goodreads account to use and I’m doing a reading challenge!
Fifty new books in a year is achievable, right?
My reason for doing this: usually I read a lot. Even when Ted was tiny, I had either my Kindle or my Kindle app on my phone attached to me at all times. Whenever I felt my sanity starting to flip, I’d read a few pages of an old favourite. Reading has always stabilised me: being able to escape into another world, someone else’s world, has always made my own seem that bit more tolerable.
That’s my problem though. The old favourites. I can read my old favourites literally hundreds of times. Hundreds! I can probably recite about three chapters of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ from memory, in three languages (only slight exaggeration there). I can definitely recite the first lines of ‘I Capture the Castle’, ‘Gone With the Wind’, and quite a few others that I always go back to.
I need to read new things.
I tried this a couple of years ago, with my 52 Weeks, 52 Books challenge that I set myself. But then I found myself pregnant, stricken with some pretty irritating morning sickness, and no desire to read anything that wasn’t filled with babies and pregnancy. That challenge probably, technically, was a winner – my aim was to read 52 books in a year, with at least one of those each month being totally new to me, and I think I did actually achieve that in 2016. But with the advent of Ted, I wasn’t exactly keeping track.
I’m going to try to go for more non-fiction this time, too. When I was a child and a teenager I used to inhale biographies, everything from David Niven’s ‘The Moon’s a Balloon’ to Antonia Fraser’s portraits of historical figures. I remember sitting by the back door in the summer holidays, sitting on the same battered sun lounger every time, a pile of books at my feet and cats winding around my ankles. It was like swallowing a life in a couple of sunny afternoons.
Nowadays, my poor old brain is feeling somewhat neglected, and I can’t help but feel I was better informed about the world back when I was about fifteen.
I’ve been doing the Goodreads challenge for about three weeks now (isn’t January just going on forever, by the way?) and I’m quite pleased of my progress so far. Six books down already! According to Goodreads, that puts me three books ahead of schedule already. Fabulous. Of course not one is yet fulfilling that whole ‘read more non-fiction’ thing, but I’ve got no fewer than four hefty non-fiction books in progress right now, with a stack more on the shelf. Well, on the shelf and on the Kindle, and on the list for the library, anyway.
I’m just counting it as progress that I’ve made it nearly to February and I haven’t reread anything yet.
Though, once again, ‘I Capture the Castle’ is calling to me…