Tuesday, January 26, 2010

50 books in a year?

Today I saw a blog post about challenging oneself to read 50 books in a year. My first thought was "50 books? That's nothing!" After all, 50 books is just one book a week. In years past, that would have been nothing for me. I was always a big reader growing up. It was such a treat to go to the library every two weeks and check out the maximum 20 books each time. My mom realized early on that the best way to get me to do my chores quickly was to tell me "You can't read until after you've done XY&Z." Because depriving me of books was like torture!

But then life moved along. In college I still did quite a bit of pleasure reading, and read plenty of other interesting books for my courses along the way. I'm sure I met the 50 book a year goal easily. Then grad school came, and pleasure reading went out the window for the most part. There was just too much required reading, and what little time I had left over was devoted to sleep! But I still had vacations, and I read and read when I had snippets of free time. Browsing at the bookstore was still one of my favorite pasttimes, and lazy afternoons reading on the beach were the perfect escape.

And then the kids came along. And pleasure reading really went out the window. I did read a lot on the internet about parenting, and have read plenty of alphabet, rhyming, and Thomas books over the last 4 years. But I did very little reading purely for myself. I was always just so tired at night, and it was easier to plop down in front of the TV than pick up a book. I missed reading, but I wasn't quite sure what to do about it. I'd bring books along on vacation, but all my time was spent running after the kids. Lazy afternoons on the beach had now been taken over with sand toys and reapplying sunscreen. I don't even throw a book in my beach bag anymore because I know I'll never get to it. And browsing in a bookstore? Forget it. With two kids in tow, a visit to the bookstore is limited to picking up essentials only, and the faster we get in and out, the better. Hubby still buys me books every Christmas since they have always been among my favorite gifts, but it takes me months to read them (and sadly some great finds still sit on the bedside table untouched).

Now 50 books in a year seems nearly impossible to achieve. And that makes me sad. But I've been inspired! I want to try to regain some of that personal time and get back to what was always my favorite hobby. There's nothing like curling up with a good book! I don't know if I'll make it to 50 books this year, and I'm sure whatever I do read will be mostly fluff fiction because, hey I have to start somewhere, right? I think I'll start leaving a book in the car to read while I'm waiting in the school pick up line. And maybe stash another in my gym bag. First, I'm going to work on finishing the newest Elizabeth George book that I gave myself for Christmas.

Anyone else up for the 50 book a year challenge? Or have any suggestions for good reads? I'll need them!!


  1. Joanie I could have written that post...right down to the beach time senario and turning to tv after the kids are in bed instead of reading. *sigh*

    You've inspired me though. I think I will join you in your challenge, if you don't mind. 50 books doesn't seem that hard, especially since I used to be able to knock one out in a day. But you are right, life is different now.

    Luckily I have a big book order coming in soon!

  2. Awesome Sarah! I'd love to have some company in this challenge!! Looking forward to trading book/author ideas. :-)