When my sister helped me set my Word Press account, she introduced me to the Widgets that I could apply to my page. Not wanting to overcrowd my page, I just kept to a simple format, but did apply one that linked to Goodreads. Before starting my blog, I had never heard of Goodreads. I have always loved to read, but never thought of recording my books started, finished or under the “want to read” category–let alone write reviews about the book when I did finish. I just did so in my mind. I didn’t consider books as a social activity.
At least not until this year. As I started to read more good books, I started to discuss them. Most of the time it was with Mom, as friends for me were still in Colorado. During the same week as my blood clot surgery, the ladies Bible study that I had signed up to attend had started. Missing only a few times, I got to know these women and respected their godly wisdom as I was the youngest in the group. Today, two of these ladies are now good friends. Age shows no boundaries in friendship. As Spring turned into Summer, I also started to get to know a few people in town. My friends were now more than just acquaintances. I still Skype, email, text and write letters to my dear friends in Colorado and wherever else they may reside, but having friends in the current area has been a joy.
I bring up friends (and I include family members in this too), because like myself, many are avid readers, love the library, and don’t mind if I bring up a few good book title recommendations. I decided books run in my blood line. 🙂 Now, I can’t tell you why I started this year to see books as social activity, but when it first started, I found that when I shared what I considered to be a good read, I enjoyed being able to remember what I read. Sounds funny, I know. But I was never good at reading to remember (unless it is an exceptional read.) This is why I preferred final papers over final tests in school.
Now that the year is nearing its end, I am glad that I have a Goodreads account. I looked back at the books I read this year–some I liked, others not so much; some I bought, some I borrowed, some I gave away when I finished; some I checked out from the library, some I read in a coffee shop, some I finished in the car on a road trip. There are still many to enjoy, which is the point of this blog post: I will now share my year-long secret with you. Actually, it is not really a secret, but it is sort of silly so I never told anyone.
In March, I noticed on Goodreads that there were different polls and book recommendations on the side margins. I noticed one in particular–a reading challenge: how many books are you going to read this year? I didn’t think much on it, thought it would be fun and set my challenge: my 2013 reading challenge. 40 books. I thought that was a good number…not too low, yet not high where I felt it unreachable. I was so serious about it when I first started, then forgot about it all together and hardly read at all during the summer. Something about students returning to campus, the thought of classes and learning and hours of studies in coffee shops got my mind refocused on enjoying book or two. On Monday I was writing a book review on Goodreads and finally checked my number for the challenge, as I was clueless of how many more books I needed in order to make my goal. According to the stats, I have read 39 books…one more to go to reach my challenge. 🙂
The book challenge was never my motive for reading, but it encouraged me to keep reading (at the times when I remembered I even had a goal to reach.) Would I set another challenge for next year? I have thought about it. If I did, I would challenge myself to read a few more than 40–but would keep my number a secret. 😉 But I don’t think numbers are important. It is not about how much I read, but how well I read–what I discover in the text, decipher in my thoughts, and share with others. That is what I consider a good read.