Thursday, February 7, 2013

Challenge Accepted!

I had a horrible epiphany yesterday. I won't make my goal of 200 books for 2013. As a self diagnosed bibliophile, this was disheartening. Lately I have been doing more work about reading rather than actually picking up a book. I have the book club on Goodreads to moderate, a podcast to research for and write, and this blog to maintain. I also stay at home with my two boys who are four and two years old. Another reason I've slowed down is part of my goal for this year wasn't just to read more, it was to read smarter.

I mainly have been reading a lot of urban fantasy and historical fiction lately. Before that, it was mystery novels and chick lit. After creating Classics Without All the Class with Jeane, I realized I was lacking a lot in my literary diet. Last year I read over 150 books, but they were like having a snack. I needed to start adding something more substantial to my regiment. With CWAtC I was reading one classic a month, but it still wasn't enough. I was skipping meals. So this year I decided to try a buffet of genres (Okay, I think we've taken that analogy as far as we can. You're welcome).
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)Heart of Darkness

As I talked about on episode 4 of the podcast I've been participating in reading challenges. One of them is the Rory Gilmore challenge. Rory Gilmore is the bookworm daughter on the now finished show Gilmore Girls.  Some enterprising soul went through the entire seven seasons and wrote down every book Rory read. There seems to be different versions of this list, and I am not brave enough yet to do it myself to find out the real number by watching the whole series myself (did I mention I'm swamped?!). This version seems long enough at 340 books. What makes this challenge so enticing is that it's eclectic.  There seems to be everything from the classics to nonfiction to bestsellers.
Madame Bovary

Another I'm attempting is Peter Boxall's 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. I came to the realization I'm never going to finish this one nor do I really want to. Not all these books are ones I'm interested in, but I'm going to make an attempt to hit the ones that I've missed. I've never read Pride & Prejudice. Catch-22 either.

So keeping all this in mind, I've lowered it to 175. It's okay to have high expectations. It's also okay to realize you need to lower those expectations. I'm no elitest. I have no problem if anyone wants to gorge themselves on romances or biographies (I lied, one more food analogy). Reading should be something you enjoy and I found I enjoy a challenge; to feel that I am accomplishing something. I'm still reading Kim Harrison and Philippa Gregory, but I'm adding in some William Faulkner and nonfiction as well.

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