Reading a book is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It can transport you to a completely different time and place and let you experience things from a whole other perspective. I came to the realisation last year that I barely read for pleasure anymore, which I wasn’t particularly happy about. I was constantly reading when I was younger – to the point of bringing my book with me to the breakfast and dinner tables and eating one-handed.
I’m not entirely sure what happened to make me stop but I think it might have been, ironically, school and university that did it. I got so caught up in getting good marks in VCE in order to get into the uni course I wanted that somewhere along the line I must have figured I didn’t have time to read on the side. And then when I got into undergrad, I was working so hard to get the marks to get into Honours, and then – you guessed it – in Honours I was studying to get high enough marks to get into a Doctorate. So it wasn’t until I was in the first year of my PhD that I realised I hadn’t picked up a book just for fun in a reeeeaaaally long time. Damn education system.
Around the same time, I stumbled upon Goodreads and fell in love. I set up an account immediately and started cataloging the books I had and the books I wanted. I noticed you could set yourself a Reading Challenge and thought I may as well go ahead and do it. Apparently I wasn’t particularly confident in my ability to maintain this rediscovered passion though and set myself the oh-so lofty challenge of reading three books in the last half of 2014. I am very pleased to announce that yes, I did manage to meet this goal and, in fact, read 13 books. Go me!
This year I have branched out and set myself the challenge of reading 50 books. That’s right, 50! Five-oh. That’s essentially a book a week. I’m fairly confident I can do it but just to make sure, I thought if I wrote a blog post about it I would be less inclined to suck at it. Nothing like a bit of public pledging to motivate you.
These are the first ten books of my 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge (in no particular order):
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates*
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
Quiet – Susan Cain
Burial Rites – Hannah Kent*
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan*
Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan
Yours Truly – Women of Letters (Marieka Hardy & Michaela McGuire)*
The Opposite of Loneliness – Marina Keegan
Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
I’ve also made a teeny tiny promise to myself that I won’t buy any more books until I’ve read a good portion of the ones already on my shelves. So the general rule is: every time I finish ten books, I can then allow myself to buy a new book. Or two. Or five.
Somebody help me.
So what are your reading plans for this year? Do you have any? Are you stuck in the no-reading-rut that I was once in? You can get yourself out, I promise! Goodreads really helped me so you could create an account and be friends with me on there. Or you could, of course, just pick up a book one day and start reading again – it’s as simple as that.
*Reviews will be coming shortly!