At the beginning of 2018 I dusted off my sadly neglected GoodReads app and signed up for the year long REading Challenge. I challenged myself to read 50 books. I has spent years reading only what was necessary for homeschooling and research for work and had the neglected my own reading life to my detriment.
According to my mom I had started reading when I was three and I was rarely without a book in my hand throughout my entire childhood. My parents were both avid readers and so my brother and I just naturally became readers as well. My husband was astonished at the amount of books I brought into our small apartment when we got married. They were stacked everywhere.
However since beginning homeschooling the kind of reading that fed my soul was put aside as I read to learn about homeschooling, the subject I was teaching or research for my writing. I loved all of that reading but I missed fiction. Now I’m at a place where I can make a little time for fiction.
I am happy to say I read right past fifty books and made it to sixty-five which led me to set a goal of seventy-five this year. A lot of this is accomplished on plane trips (of which there will be a lot less this year) car trips (Audible), and moments when I realized scrolling through social media time could be better spent reading a book. I really had more time for reading than I realized once I realized how much time I waste on nonsense.
I’ve kept mostly to fiction and I’ve branched out from my usual genres, trying some fantasy, horror and fiction that I never would have delved into had it not been for the GoodReads app. I like reading reviews of people I’m “friends” with and seeing what is on their lists. It’s a nice community there, entirely focused on the books and reviews and not at all on personalities. I like that. It’s stress free.
Early in my challenge I read I’d Rather be Reading by Anne Bogel, (af/link) creator of the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy. I thought the blog and the book were both delightful. Reading geeks do have their own weird little issues and Bogel presents them to us in a “you’re not alone” kind of way. When you read this book you realize you’ve found your people. It’s really a charming, uplifting book. Pretty to look at and small enough to carry around in your purse.
Bogel’s book provided a few suggestions of books and authors with whom I was unfamiliar so I added them to be TBR (to be read) list on GoodReads. I found this part of the app invaluable since it was there on my phone when I found myself unexpectedly at the library (I stop in a few times a week when I am out and about, I find it hard to pass by without popping in) and I could just pull up the list and pull what interested me off the shelf. So easy.
A few of the books that I found particularly delightful last year? (All affiliate links, thank you)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen ( I actually ended up reading most of her books)
The Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read (I am working my way through all of Miss Reads novels. I love them)
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Maria Del Los Santos
There were sixty more, most of which I enjoyed thoroughly.
If you are on GoodReads, let’s follow each other and share our reading goals for this year.