It really is that simple.

Books.

I was an avid (and some would say obsessive) reader as a child. You could always find me with a book in my hand. Books were my friends (as they often are for the bookish child.) I read books like people eat meals. Books were my life.

And then I became an adult.

Well, not really– college happened. During my breaks from school I continued to read, to drift off in a fantasy world that expanded beyond my real world.  But reading became work, and as I entered a graduate program and obtained a PhD in a humanities field, reading lost its luster for me.

I read every day. Often for hours, because it is my job. But I have struggled to read anything that is “fun.” And as the years went by I began to profoundly miss reading. I love to read, but I feel that it has been stolen from me, by the very profession that one enters because they “love to read.” Oh the irony.

A few days ago I was at a New Years Eve party. My friends were standing around talking about book clubs and how they had little time to read, etc, when one of them asked me “Do you read? And if so, what do you read?”

I responded that of course I read, and we discussed some books I had read recently. That was when I realized that many of my colleagues were just like me –they did not read for fun anymore. I also realized that despite the fact that I had always thought of myself as a reader (and indeed I am sure that I read more than the average American), that in fact I was no longer reading with the speed and sense of fun that I had enjoyed as a child.

My discussion with my math colleague made me realize that I wanted to read more. I missed reading—my life felt empty, raw, and lonely without reading.

So last night I went online and read through several “best of” lists of books from the last year. I wrote down the ones that looked interesting and created a list (I love lists.) Then I sat back and took stock. There were an awful lot of books on the list.

And in that moment I made a New Year’s resolution. (Something I never, ever do, by the way.) I decided that I would read at least a book a week this year. Note that I say at least, because I am a fast reader and really, I am curious as to how much I can actually read in a year.  So then I decided to keep myself honest and post to a blog, my thoughts about the books, about reading and writing. Because to become a better writer one must read, and to read is to open one’s mind.

My goal is to post at least once a week, with my thoughts on what I have read. I may post more, who knows, but at least once a week seems like a reasonable goal for me. And I hope that this year will help me re-affirm my reading habit (the idea if for this not to just be a one-year experiment, but rather to re-form my childhood habit.) I plan to read all kinds of books, I will put no style or page limit on the project. (I read everything from literature to pure trash, and plenty in-between.) I plan to just read.

I started last night on a book that was sent to me by an old college friend. More on that later, but for now I am taking suggestions. I have books in mind (my list) but always like to be clued in on what else is out there.

That’s all for now,

Bookish C

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