I wanted to publish this now, rather than the week before the New Year, so that anyone who wishes to participate has time to gather their books.
All 100 books.
The challenge, as you may have read about on some sort of important website that has apparently been lost in cyberspace, is to read 100 books in 2018. That’s two books per week, save for the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. For me, it’s likely an unattainable goal, but I’m going to try, try, and try again, and keep trying until January 1, 2019. I will never be caught without a book, either on my phone or with a hard copy. I will limit my social media time. I will not play that addicting Scramble game, except for one round per day, per opponent. I’ll read in the doctor’s office waiting room, on the park bench, while I’m waiting in the car for Shaun to grab a few things in the store, while I sunbathe … while I go potty …
Don’t even give me that angelic look. You know you’re an iPhone potty percher, too.
In all honesty, I bet I get 50 read. In spite of my love for words, I am a slow reader (so gosh, maybe only 25!) I can’t skim over a page, get the gist, and be satisfied. I need to read. every. word. and absorb it. I don’t like to miss what the author is saying, and if what the author is saying is good and delicious and beautiful and terrifyingly accurate, I want it to stick in my mind and heart like silly puddy on newspaper. Plus, being a writer, I don’t appreciate it when people scan my work. I work hard to make sure my words make sense, entertain, or inform, and I appreciate those who take the time to try and understand what I’m saying, in the spirit in which I’m saying it.
So. Here are the guidelines I am abiding by during the reading challenge:
1. One book equals 225-275 pages. So if I read Roots, for instance, I’m allowed to mark it as three books. When I read 250 pages of my Bible, that equals a book. Etc.
2. The same goes for small books. If I choose to read a children’s book that is 100 pages long, I need to add another book of at least 125 pages to equal one book.
3. If I read a book that feels like desperately trying to climb my way out of quicksand, I’m closing it and grabbing a different book. I do tend to battle through theological works, with the understanding that reading them is spiritual work, which is never easy-peasy, and usually hard – but also out-of-this-world profitable. But if I’m reading a novel and can’t get into it because it’s boring, wordy, boring and wordy, dirty, stupid, or terrifying in a way that will keep me up at night? I’ll toss it into the Goodwill box and go on to another book. Or use it for kindling, haha. Can’t use Kindle books for kindling, but I’m sure there’s a delete button somewhere on the app.
4. I’ve chosen different genres, and if you participate, I hope you will follow suit. Choosing different genres allows us to broaden our horizons, develop our worldview and new ways of thinking. Within reason, of course. For instance, I am not going to develop a new way of thinking if it’s anti-Christian. And we are commanded to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Phil 4:8). Sometimes those qualities only come about through gory battle. I get that. But what is the overall theme, direction, and theology of the book?
For example, on my list is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Not on my list is Fifty Shades of Grey.
In my next blog, I will give you my list of books I intend to read in 2018. It’s a mixture of theological works, novels, children’s books, classics, and political commentaries. I don’t have hardly any biographies listed, so if you have any favorites, please let me know, and perhaps I’ll switch out a novel or two.
Of course, anyone reading this is invited to take up the challenge, because it’s a free country and there are so many books … so little time. Would love to hear from you if you decide to be brave (or crazy, which is it?). So leave a comment or email me at gloriapatri7 at gmail dot com. Even if you feel you can only read 12 books this year, I’d love to see you participate and reach your goal.
Next blog: my 2018 reading list! Next blog after that: a commentary on the Longmire Netflix series. Next blog after that: hopefully something centered around Christmas. I’m buying my tree tomorrow, and once I decorate that tree and my thus far bah humbug house, I tell you true … I will be jolly.