One of the things I constantly share with my students is my “reading life.” I want them to see that adults read too, both for work and for pleasure. One of the ways I keep up with the books I’ve read is on several Pinterest boards. My students love scrolling through the boards, and seeing the covers and titles usually piques their interest.
The past few years, I’ve tried to be more deliberate about my reading. Reading is something that I love, but I don’t always make time for like I should. I think that in the past, I’ve seen it as a simple hobby, and I feel guilty when I spend my time reading. I feel like I should be more productive. But thinking back to the books I’ve read and how important they’ve been to me just proves that this is a worthwhile way to spend my time.
Each year, since 2012, I’ve set a goal for myself – a number of books that I want to read that year. 2012 gave me an idea of how much I typically read; I read 31 books that year. In 2013, I set a goal of 30 books, and I read 31. In 2014, my goal was 50, and I read 51 books. This year, I’ve kept my goal as 50, but I’ve introduced a different aspect to the challenge; I’m going to try to meet the requirements of a 50 Book Reading Challenge that I found online.
The numbers are really arbitrary, though. Even though I’ve met my goals each year, the most important part to me is that when I look back over my lists, I remember things I wouldn’t remember otherwise. 2013 is the year I really rediscovered my love of reading. I remember adoring Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and discussing it with my mom after I shared it with her. I struggled through the slower parts of The Art of Fielding, but in the end loved the visceral memories it brought back for me. I cried my way through The Year of Magical Thinking; the devastating loss faced by Didion was only made more crushing, to me, by the similarities to my own father’s death.
These are the things I share with my students; how I connect with the books I read, and how I unintentionally create memories that are so much more than just the plot of a book. As I’m not teaching this year, I plan to spend even more time reading, and posting updates and book reviews here, so stick around!