Earlier this year, I gave myself the goal of reading 100 books. I read 60 last year and was itching to increase that number so 100 seemed like a nice round goal that would definitely be a stretch from last year but not completely unattainable. And here it is, the end of August, and I have reached that goal. (Though, full disclosure, this number does include a handful of DNF’s that were just too terrible but I still count them just so I don’t make the mistake of trying to pick them up every again.)
In my youth, I was a big reader. Once I hit college, I only did school-related reading and had no desire to pick up a book for leisure. After college, I never got back into it. Sure, I would read a book here and there but it was never anything to write home about. Now, as I find myself as a married 20-something with few obligations and a lot of spare time, I am throwing myself full force into the reading game. And it probably wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for Goodreads, an amazing site that you can track your reading endeavors, rate and review books, have “to-read” lists, get recommendations, and see what your friends are reading.
The other key? The library. Buying books can be really expensive. And heavy. So I’ve resorted to the library for 90% of my reading – and not only paperback! My library has an amazing online system for kindle books in addition to your traditional books. And I’ve even gotten into the audio game. I’m obsessively checking my hold list on the library website and researching on Goodreads what my next great read should be – it has become a bit of a game and I love it.
I’m often asked what kind of books I like to read and really, I’m all over the place. I’ve even been known to have 3-4 books going at once. I have a weakness for YA (Young Adult) and the whole paranormal/fantasy genre but I also appreciate good memoirs, fiction, and non-fiction alike. Some books I read thanks to the bandwagon effect (*ahem* Fifty Shades Trilogy) and some I read because I find the topic fascinating (Sex at Dawn). Others, I read to learn things for my own personal development (New Rules of Lifting for Life) or about others to satisfy my need for gossip (Stories I Only Tell My Friends). Mindless “trash” has its place (The Mortal Instruments Series) but the ones with a profound story and life lesson are the ones that truly hold my heart but seem so difficult to find.
(^^^ Best book I’ve read this year.)
Getting back to my roots of reading has given me a sense of fulfillment. I feel like I’m accomplishing more in my downtime than mindlessly surfing the web or watching movies. The books I have read have brought me closer to certain friends, have given me interesting talking points in everyday conversations, have made me laugh out loud, have made me cry, and have warmed my heart.
And I will always be looking for the next great book.
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