In my early twenties, my most favorite ways to unwind were late night drives to nowhere listening to music, writing, and solo trips to the book store. I hardly ever went with a book in mind and even when I did, I loved walking through Borders’ or Barnes and Noble’s literature section. I would choose a book that caught my eye off the shelf, read the back or inside cover, then if that made the cut, I read one random page from the middle of the book. I spent way more money on books than clothes or shoes, and I wouldn’t really have it any other way.
When I got into the “real world,” my love for reading got pushed to the back burner, my late night drives weren’t an option, and my writing inspiration was hit or miss. I missed the calm of the book store evenings, instead opting to use my Kindle app on my tablet for new reading selections. With the surge of resolutions floating around online recently, I was inspired by PopSugar’s and Goodread’s challenges to pick a number of books I would like to read by the end of the year and then certain categories these books should meet. I do still read a fair amount, so I didn’t include this on my own list of resolutions, but this still steps back up my book worm game, by specifying what it is I’ll be reading, and will allow me more book store visits again.
I want to read 26 books in 2015. Two per month seems like a decent goal, since I don’t often have the time to sit and read them straight through like I did in high school and college. Hopefully, I’ll exceed this goal, but since it’s more for me-time and relaxation, I don’t want to set the bar too high. Here’s how I’ll break what my selections will be into categories:
- 3 works translated to English: It’s always good to have a new perspective
- 3 non-fiction: I tend to read works of fiction, so I’ll broaden my horizons
- 3 books I’ve started, but never finished: I think I only have 3 books I’ve left unfinished for one reason or another, so I plan to revisit those from the beginning
- 3 memoirs: They are much more fun now than they used to seem when I was a kid
- 2 with over 500 pages: A small challenge within a challenge
- 3 banned or challenged classics: I have read quite a few, but I’m sure there are many that I have not yet gotten to
- 1 sci-Fi: I like to get outside my comfort zone from time to time
- 3 philosophical: I’m always interested in other ways of thinking and expanding my knowledge of theories
- 5 recommended by friends: Any suggestions?
That covers my 26 reads. If a book falls into more than one category, I will only count it for one to make sure I reach my goal.
To start my 2015 reading challenge, I am going to go with one of the books I’ve started, but never finished. The first will be The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This one is sentimental to me, which may be why I put it off. Back when I was 23, I packed up my station wagon and moved to Nashville. I wanted to “find myself” and it didn’t feel like I’d be able to do that in PA. I was very confident about my decision to move, but as the date drew closer, I began to second guess myself and thought about backing out. At the time, Adrian and I were at a cross-road in our relationship. I was sad to leave him, as we were always close friends, but we weren’t exactly ready to settle down at the time. Before I left, he gave me this book and wrote “Don’t Panic” in the cover. It gave me the last little push that I needed. I still really believe if you want to try a new city, you definitely should. The world is vast and just because you were born somewhere doesn’t mean you were meant to stay. I would suggest making sure it’s for the right reasons, but even though Nashville may not have been for me at that time, I learned more from that trip than any other, which is worth its weight in gold. I hope reading this brings back a reminder of the appreciation for what I have and maybe a bit of wanderlust as well.
Do you have any reading goals this year? If you have any suggestions for books to meet one of my categories, I’d love to hear them! Or even better, join me in my challenge and up your book worm status!