A lot of people have commented to me about this goal, asking how I was able to do it. But the truth is, a lot of people read way more than this. My brother read 52 books by the first week in August, and I don't want to think about how many books my dad reads. He constantly has a book in his hands.
But if you're still dying to know how I did it, here are a few tips:
- I read a lot in the evenings while everyone else watches TV
- I carry a book in the car (I don't get car sick)
- I read while my kids are at dance or tumbling
- I read most nights before bed
A friend's dad taught me that last one. He said he always reads 10-15 minutes in bed every night. Just doing that, you can get through quite a lot of books.
This year, I read the first two books in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, The Help, The Pretty Little Liars series, Jane Eyre (again), the first Harry Potter (again), Plato, Edith Wharton and lots of books on writing. I thought it would be fun to pick a favorite.
For a long time, I knew what it was going to be. I read Winter's Bone on February 1st during the worst blizzard I've ever seen. It seemed appropriate. The words were amazing:
With her eyes closed she could call them near, see those olden Dolly kin who had so many bones that broke, broke and mended, broke and mended wrong, so they limped through life on the bad-mend bones for year upon year until falling dead in a single evening from something that sounded wet in the lungs.
Lust slaking to dance tunes, standing hip bone to hip bone, the new hands moving over her rumples and furls and tender knobs, hands good as tongues in the dark corners of those whiskey moments.
I've never read a book like it. I've never read someone who can use words like Daniel Woodrell does in that book. After I read it, I immediately went back to the first 3 chapters and read them again. The words were just that amazing. It's dark reading though.
At the very end of the year, I found another book that tied with Winter's Bone, but for different reasons. And that was The Night Circus:
It is destroying me that I cannot ask you to dance,” Marco whispers as she passes by him in the ballroom, the deep green of his suit seeping across her gown like moss.
“Then you are far too easily destructible,” Celia murmurs softly...
It wasn't for the plot that I read and loved it, though that was good too. It was for a circus that comes only at night and always without warning. I fell in love with it as hard as I've fallen for Hogwarts and Manderly. I wanted it to exist and when the final page was turned, I felt this sort of bereft longing to go back. So late in the year, it tied with Winter's Bone for the best thing I'd read in 2011.
This year I don't have any big goals. I'd like to read some longer things and slow down and not worry about reaching a number, though I'm glad I did this. Right now I feel like reading The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen because for 20 years I've read amazing quotes from it. I'd like to read Middlemarch and some plays by Tennessee Williams and more poetry. I'd also like to start reading Agatha Christie - I've only read two books by her.
Anyway, those are my reading goals. What are yours?