What’s that squishing sound I hear? Oh, wait, that’s me, wading through the molasses pit that is my 2012 reading. Two quarters into the year, I’ve read far fewer books than this time last year, or for that matter, fewer than any of the past 5 years. Specifically, I’ve read 29 books year-to-date, including one year-long read (Middlemarch). I read only 12 books in the second quarter, and it looks like my pace is slowing from 6-7 books per month to something more like 4-5.
I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am enjoying other hobbies and family time, and I’ve been dealing with some personal issues that need high-priority focus. So it’s all explainable, and not all bad. But then I look at my stacks of unread books, and all the books I don’t own but really, really, want to read … and I have to fight off feelings of anxiety. Does anyone else suffer from this affliction?
At least there’s a bright side to my second quarter reading. One book was absolutely fantastic, earning a 5-star rating: John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. Coming in at a close second, at 4.5 stars, is Elizabeth Taylor’s A Game of Hide and Seek (click on the links for reviews).
So I’ve taken stock of things, being realistic about the rest of the year. Let’s take a look at my 2012 Reading Resolutions:
- I will read more books from my stacks than I acquire. I’m doing better on this one than last quarter. Half of the books read this quarter were ones I already own: 3 Virago Modern Classics, 3 from my stacks. I also read 4 new acquisitions. I added 11 books to my home library altogether, so technically I achieved this resolution. Hurray!
- I will read more non-fiction. After doing well in the first quarter, I read only fiction in the second quarter. I’m slipping, and with everything else going on in my life now, I am losing my motivation for this reading resolution.
- I will continue making progress on all reading projects, but especially the Booker Prize, Orange Prize, and Virago Modern Classics. I’m doing OK with these. I’m confident I will reach my goal of reading 12 Virago Modern Classics. But considering my slower pace overall, I may not hit that target for Orange and Booker prize nominees. As long as I read a few more of each, I’ll feel OK about it.
- I will increase interaction with the book blogging community. I’ve had a fabulous time running the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary, which started on LibraryThing and quickly expanded to Facebook and the blogosphere. I joined a few reading challenges at the beginning of the year, but I’m not seeing a lot of interaction there. I also remembered why I stopped doing reading challenges a couple of years ago: I didn’t want the commitments and pressure.
So I’m abandoning reading challenges again, and will just read what I feel like reading. And if that’s almost entirely fiction, so be it. It’s a hobby, not a job, right? I’m excited about the books I’m considering for Orange July, and I have lots of great books on my stacks. Now I just need to relax, stop worrying about my pace, and enjoy.
How is your 2012 reading shaping up? Are you changing anything in your approach?