I guess I don’t need to tell you that reading is a lot easier than writing, do I?
For me, reading is somewhat like breathing. I don’t “make time for it.” I don’t “discipline myself to read.” It just happens.
Writing, on the other hand, does take discipline. And time. And thought.
At this season of my life time seems to be at a premium, so writing gets put on the back burner.
But not reading. Never reading.
For the past couple of years I’ve been tracking my reading on GoodReads. I like the Year in Books report it generates, showing all the books I’ve read along with little tidbits such as most popular, least popular, longest, and shortest.
GoodReads also encourages members to set a yearly goal of books to read.
So far I haven’t done that.
I already read way more books than most people, without even trying very hard.
Setting a numeric goal for something so effortless doesn’t seem like much of a challenge.
However, I will admit I primarily just read whatever strikes my fancy. I suspect that’s what makes it so easy for me. I like picking my own books.
A few months ago I read several titles from a popular summer reading list that was making the rounds. I think I only enjoyed 2 of the 8 or 10 books I read from that list.
Lately I’ve read several award-winning books and I can’t say that I’ve loved every one of those either. I think I just have eclectic tastes. Or maybe what resonates with me is not the same as the next person.
Yet I still want to read all the books. Okay, maybe not all. But many more than I will ever have time for.
A couple weeks ago I picked up a copy of 1000 Books to Read Before You Die at the library. As a lifelong avid reader I was curious to see how many of the 1000 books I’ve read so far. By my best count, my tally is just over 100 of the books on the list.
I probably should try to fit in a few more of the classics, but I really don’t have a need to try to fit in the other 900 suggested books before I die. Most of them don’t appeal to me or I would have already them.
I’m often asked how I have time to read as much as I do. I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is that I rarely sit and read by the hour like I did when I was younger. These days, I read in little snatches of time–5 minutes here and there–and I read quickly. I carry a book with me everywhere I go. And I choose to read books rather than other types of entertainment such as scrolling through social media on my phone or watching TV.
You know what else? This is silly, but I like to take a bath in the evening, rather than a shower in the morning, so I can relax in the tub with a book just before I go to bed.
So back to the question of whether or not to set a reading goal. For now, I’m enjoying following a reading challenge for specific types of books such as the Readopoly challenge our library is currently hosting. I saw a similar challenge for kids and teens that looks fun at Redeemed Reader.
But what I’d really like to challenge myself to do is to write more.
If I could just figure out how to fit that into 5 minute snatches of time. There’s gotta be a way.