Someone told me I can’t possibly read 100 books per year. There are plenty of things I cannot do (or would not do), but reading books isn’t one of them. Magazines and newspaper – no, I don’t read those much if at all. Dictionaries, thesauri, and encyclopedias – not on my reading list. As for certain genres of books – especially books in my preferred genre – ask me the content of books I’ve read, and we’ll go over it (once I recall it – names escape me, but content will come back).
I read in bed, I read in the bathroom (I have IBS, so I spend much too much time on the porcelain throne, but I manage to make the best of that time), and I listen to audio books whenever I’m in the car (try telling a visually impaired person that listening to audio books isn’t “reading” … I highly recommend “The Help” and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” that were read by multiple readers for the different parts).
Keep in mind too that I include at least a dozen children’s books within that 100 each year – those are not only quick, but they are the truly timeless stories. My aunt Marilyn understands my love of children’s books, as she was a children’s librarian. I will buy children’s books; the rest I prefer come from the library so that I can return them and move on to the next in the series … although even I am a sucker for a book sale and book exchanges. Yet too, when a book is difficult to read, I do better if it’s a library book so that I have a deadline to finish as inspiration.
I have a friend who works for a used book store of sorts. As an employee, she gets a free book per day! Can you imagine? There must be people who can read that much, right? Even my friend with that job cannot do that. Granted, I could if it were only children’s books – especially the cardboard ones with few or no words on each page. But then it would take away the joy of the dozen or so children’s books I do read each year. Since I read for joy, I won’t be doing that.
I usually read what I like, so it goes quickly … although too quickly, so I have to jump into another one. I tend to read light books, not super serious or difficult (except for a few for book group as selected by my fellow readers), because reading is my escape. I escape daily so that I am guaranteed a bit of joy every single day, even if for just a page or two and the 15-minute drive to work or on the way home.
Seriously, cozy mysteries are my Fanny May Chocolates. I’ll bet the person who assumed that I do not actually read that many books in a single year could do lots of things that I cannot or will not do. I won’t be running any marathons, shooting hoops, putting on makeup or spending more the 3 minute on my hair daily, putting together 1,000 piece puzzles, cooking gourmet meals, planting and caring for a garden of any kind, celebrating a 50-year anniversary of marriage, or traveling this country or the world.
This is not a competition for others to achieve or disdain, it’s a recording for me that I am happy to share, because in sharing I find others with the same love of books. Because what I read are mostly cozy mystery series books, I need to keep track of each book so that I only check out those next on my list from the library. Otherwise, I check out a dozen books and come home only to find I’ve read them all (seriously, my memory for names and titles is poor at best). That’s like coming home with an empty box of Fanny May Chocolates when you thought you had all of your favorites be it cream filled, caramels, nuts, or mints. Can you imagine the horror of the empty box?!?! I can, I’ve done it, and I’ve found a solution so that it doesn’t happen again: I record the books I’ve read and want to read on Good Reads (www.goodreads.com). That’s the only reason I know how many books I read per year: It’s because I record them due to lousy memory so I can continue to read books I have not previously read.
If you’d like, come read with me! I won’t be tracking how many books you read, just seeing if we like the same types of books and hopefully we’ll make recommendations for each other. I’ll be reading for a long time to come, since my list of books to read is much longer than the list of books I have read. I’m hoping Heaven (or hell) has quite the library collection.
Moral of the Story: To each their own.