It’s hard to believe we are already three months into the year; the time has gone by so quickly. So, I guess it’s time for my first quarterly summary of 2011.
I read 17 1/2 books in the first quarter. I don’t normally count partial books, but that “1/2” represents 375 pages of A Dance to the Music of Time. Most of my reads are 300-400 pages long, so under any other circumstances, this would “count” as a full book! Anyway, I’ll finish it soon and return with a full report. The best of the first quarter bunch was my re-read of Pride and Prejudice, which proved just as worthy of its 5-star rating the second time around. I also greatly enjoyed The Hills at Home, One Fine Day, and The Colour (all rated 4.5 stars). The biggest disappointment was The Winter Ghosts, by Kate Mosse, a lightweight sort of mystery that failed to capture my attention.
So you’re probably wondering, am I keeping my 2011 Reading Resolutions? Well, I know you’re not really wondering, but I’m going to tell you just the same. 🙂 Here’s what I resolved in January, with a few words about how I’m doing:
- I will not set quantitative goals: This is going well. I’m keeping track of what I read, but it’s a historical record not a forward-looking plan.
- I will not read ahead of myself: I consciously restrained myself during the first quarter, waiting until the last week of the month to choose the next month’s reads. This was more difficult than expected, but there is hope: I didn’t even think about April until March 30 !!
- I will take part in reading events: I did Orange January and Virago Reading Week, and organized a group read on LibraryThing for Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. This was wonderful: I read some great books and really enjoyed the social element. I hope to do more in this area.
- I will not join reading challenges: No problem here. I have not missed them, not one bit.
- I will make steady progress on all reading projects: This is going reasonably well. I read 4 Orange nominees and 4 Booker nominees, and while I’ve only read 2 Viragos I’m hoping to make up for that by reading 2 more in April.
- I will make a noticeable dent in my stacks: FAIL. My resolution is to read books acquired before 2010, and I only read one (Behind the Scenes at the Museum). In the “close but no dice” department, I read two that joined the stacks in 2010 (The Colour and The Betrayal). But … I’ve added 15 more books to my pile, not counting Viragos. Gulp.
It feels great to let go of structure and commitments. I’m reading books I might have passed on before. My current book is a great example: I had to wait six weeks for A Dance to the Music of Time to arrive at my local library. In years past this would have thrown off my challenge commitments or other goals. Instead, I just kept reading other interesting books until it came available. I’m enjoying my reading much more, which is just what I hoped for from my “Year of Reading Normally.” So far, so good.
How is your reading year going?
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.