I have been working on a blog post to mark, in part, my triumphant return to blogging. But it is being more challenging the originally expected. I have been working on the the top ten books that have influenced me. I think it could be easy to throw a list together, but I don't think I could really do an honest defendable very quickly. So I decided I want to do more than list some books on Facebook, I wanted to try and defend it. As you may have guessed, this was probably a mistake. I am determined to both stick with it and not let it hold me back!
The timing could not be better for me to do a salon post as interim. It has been occuring to me more and more how many things have changed for me and how much time has passed since I was blogging regularly. I have been exploring all the things that drew me to blogging in the first place and found that I am having a deep desire to reconnect with some of those things. I especially want to reconnect with what blogging does for me and not any kind of obligation that I may have to others. Interestingly enough I have seen in passing a few other people resurrecting their blogs. What can a blog post give me that Facebook can't?
When I was in the bath earlier I realized how little time we have left to our own thoughts anymore. Usually when I take a bath I bring both my phone and my tablet into the bathroom with me. I plan on reading or listening to an audiobook but I also end up checking Facebook and playing Draw Something. Sometimes I know that I do these things because I am scared of the stress and sadness that can come from time alone with my thoughts, but I know that I am also robbing myself of precious ponderings.
Blogging for me isn't about jamming keys as quickly as possible. It is about the thinking and developing an idea for a post. And typing it up and having it not work. Reworking it. Editing it. Finding the right image to match. Blogging is one of the only things in my life that is honoring my ponderings.
I want you to know that owning a bookstore is still amazing. It still presents many challenges for me. It is much like taking one step forward and two steps back. I figure one thing out just to have other things stop working for me. One of my hardest struggles is finding both the time and energy to read. Reading is what got me into this industry in the first place and now I barely have time for it. I have been too concerned with how many books I finish in a year to really explore the written word. Next year I am planning on starting more books than I ever have before and finishing much less.
In 2014 I am setting a goal to read 10 books. Not only is that significantly less than any goal I have ever set before, but I have also picked out what specific ten titles I am planning on reading. If you know me in person or have ever read the blog before you know that Cindy Pon is one of my favorite authors. Knowing that I could share Silver Phoenix with more people was part of why I wanted to buy a bookstore. When I saw HER list of 10 books I decided THOSE would be the books I would read in 2014. Here is that list:
1. A Little Princess
2. Island of the Blue Dolphins
3. Dancing Shoes
4. Wild Seed
5. Tipping the Velvet
6. The King of Attolia
7. The Tombs of Atuan
8. The Vampire Lestat
9. Dream of the Red Chamber
I have only read one book on this list. I am trying to decide if I am going to reread it or not. I generally don't reread books, but I am starting to wonder if I should also reconsider that. Also some of the books on this list are not the first book in a series and I haven't read the previous one. So if I stick with my goal I will get past 10 books for the year. This is part of my plan. I have been feeling a lot of PRESSURE to stick with my reading goals. It effects the books I decide to read. I skip books with higher page counts if I don't feel like they can help me in the goal. I want to read with whimsy again. I don't want to feel like I have to over think my reading choices.
The other thing my bath afforded me was this overwhelming desire to reread Ready Player One. When I was reading it the first time I LOVED it. But when I was done I started to see a lot of the problems in the narrative. I still consider this type of book successful because you don't question them until the end! I want to read it again with a more critical eye this time and find out how I really feel about it. I don't like rereading some of the books that I love because I know they won't hold up to a second reading. There is this part of me that just wants to start doing everything differently when it comes to reading.
Do you usually set a reading goal for the year?