I guess the old saying is true, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” An entire year plus 10 days have flown by indeed. During those 375 days, I attempted (for the 3rd time) to read 100 books in 150 days. Whoa, whoa, that’s far too much math for me, in three little sentences. I am already second guessing my addition up there. Here’s the short version: I did not read 100 books in 150 days, despite my best efforts. Mission Incomplete. I’ve failed again. Insert sad face here. Except, not really. I’m not sad at all, I’ve had fun failing.
For the background story on why I’ve been reading so much, click here if you dare. For the update on the last year and change, read on: during this go around, I read 125 books in 375 days. I think that translates to 2 or so books a week (but remember math is not a strength over here). This time I ventured into even more unchartered waters. I discovered tiny books of all kinds. I researched and read several miniature novellas.
I learned that many graduation speeches have been printed into beautiful, compact books. These became some of my favorite things to read. First off because they are unbelievably inspiring. It was fun to think of all the eager graduates filing into their seats and getting ready to hear J.K. Rowling speak to them (the author of the Harry Potter series and the graduation speech later titled, Very Good Lives). J.K. Rowling used to work for Amnesty International. I had no idea. Several statements in her book have stayed with me, impacted me over a long period of time. I read a series of books based on interviews (James Baldwin: The Last Interview and Other Conversations) and continued to read a number of spiritual books (No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh, Help. Thanks.Wow. by Anne LaMott and Teachings of the Buddha by Jack Kornfield). I even read books in the Sherlock Holmes Series and Mrs. Fisher’s Mysteries, which is also an Australian TV show. Again, I had no idea.
There were funny books (I Want to Kill the Dog by Richard M. Cohen), books of long term love (Wondering Who We Are by Sonya Lea) heartbreak (The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama) and death (Being Mortal by Atul Gawande). I shed a lot of tears. I was amazed every time words on a page evoked such strong emotions. The simple act of reading continued to impact me. I researched an author. I went to a poetry reading downtown that he organized. I went to a live reading of short stories just last week. Throughout, I kept picking up books: poetry books, factual books (about the internet, the publishing industry, being jailed in Iran) and books I didn’t understand, yet somehow adored (Red:Doc by Anne Carson).
Honestly, the best part about all of this was the people (as often is the case, right?). Not only the characters in the books or the authors I read more about, but the men + women that work at the front desk at the library, who became part of my weekly interactions. The woman who checks my bag every time I leave the place said to me a few weeks back, “Oh we haven’t seen you in a while, we were wondering what happened to you.” I replied, “I’m just reading slower.” The families that I work with, my own family, cousins, friends and co-workers have all suggested or given me books to read. It’s been fun peeking into their worlds and taking in their suggestions. It’s even better having a discussion about why they suggested a certain book or learning their opinions. I’ve loved every single minute of every book I’ve read the last year or so and everything that followed my reading.
Just recently, a friend was up in my apartment for the first time. The second sentence out of their mouth was, “You weren’t kidding about liking to read” as they took in the piles of books. Even though I never quite accomplished my original goal of 100 books in 100 days (that’s where I started), I have managed to create space for reading, learning and building a routine for something that I truly love. I’m going to keep reading at whatever pace I like now. In fact, I’m about to finish a biography of Alfred Hitchcock tonight.
Here are 3 of my favorite books from the last 2 years of reading incessantly:
Congratulations by the Way by George Saunders (one of those graduation speeches)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (one of the first plays I read in 2014)
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (just so you can enjoy the cover alone)
Thanks as always for reading my posts. I truly appreciate it. By the way, I’m still taking book suggestions if you have any lingering ideas. Thanks again. Till the next post.
- I AM THANKFUL FOR MY NOSE.
- A LITTLE LIST OF 3 THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE INTERNET