I have a stack of books in my room, just waiting to be read. It seems the stack is always getting taller, never smaller. But that is OK with me – I can’t help but add more as I see books that interest me. That stack also spills over online, with a list of all of the books I might read a review on or hear about and be interested in. Let’s just say that I have a lot of reading to do.
Somewhere around the beginning of the year, a few ideas were gelling for me. First, there was my Dad talking about his standing resolution to read one book a month. It sounded manageable and like a reasonable amount of reading to fit in. Then, I heard a podcast on Radio Lab, which has to be one of my very favorite radio shows out there. Anyway, one of the things featured in this show was a mention of this guy, Nicholas Feltron, who makes an annual report of his life each year. He captures all of the details of his daily happenings. Long story short, all of the details, the minutia, are charted and graphed every year. It’s beautiful in a detailed and organized sort of way. But before I get further off track, I’d encourage you to take a listen for yourself.
Anyway, back to my books, I couldn’t help wonder what my reading list would look like over the course of the year. What do I really read? What category would win out, books, magazine, online? I have my sneaking suspicions, but I am really not going to track them all. But books, I might be able to track those books. And I can’t help but think that would be an interesting thing to look back on year to year.
But as we move closer to the end of February, I’ve got to say that what I am finding challenging is actually getting to reading. January was hard – I picked a book with some emotionally weighty issues. It was a bit of work to finish that up. Next up, I tried to focus in on something I’d really love and what better than a foodie memoir. And while I love it, I still have some reading to get to before I can add it to the list!
We’re all busy, right, so I know I am not alone in feeling like it is hard to make time for the things that I really want to do. But what I notice now more than ever is that I am becoming a skimmer. I don’t know if it is a function of lack of time or time spent as a online reader, but somehow it seems harder to focus in on words on a page. I noticed it online first, flying through my reading list of favorite sites. But after that, I realized I was skimming everything. Anyway, this reading project is helping me slow down, take my eyes off the screen and focus on something else for a little while. Can’t hurt, anyway!
*These pictures are from a recent road trip where only magazine skimming took place!