If you follow me on Goodreads, you know that last week I slam-dunked my 100 books reading challenge to my utter disbelief. When the year started I gave myself a 30 book challenge, 30 books is 2.5 books a month, completely doable. Actually, had I only done 30 this year I would’ve been impressed with myself. For the past 8 years I have been in a horrific reading slump – a book reading slump I should say because I went about 2 years during that ‘slump’ that I consumed fanfic like I consumed air. Not that I didn’t read books altogether, I’d pick one up once in a while but I had not ingrained the act into my every day routine like I had in years past when I couldn’t wait to start the next book. In 2015 I read about 15 books in total and mostly audiobooks as I had a 2 hour daily commute.
What changed and how the hell did I get to 100 books in 8 months?
I decided to read books that seemed interesting to me instead of books that I felt I should read as a literary adult. Reading what you love versus reading by duty are two completely different factors. Once I got started I couldn’t stop. I realized there were so many stories I couldn’t wait to know and enjoy! So many writers I could learn my own craft from, I had a willing classroom and I had neglected it.
But what book took it to the next level?
This paperback came to me in December 2015, it was in a bag filled with discarded books that my boss asked me to dump in the employee lounge to see if anyone wanted them. I decided to scout them and see if anything caught my interest. It took me a week to read Benioff’s account of the Siege of Leningrad but it was so fresh and evoking to me that I realized with a sharp pang how much I missed reading and immersing myself into a world between pages.
We still have 4 more months in this year and realistically I’m probably going to end around the 120 book mark because school started and there’s tons and tons of reading – that takes priority but overall I feel that I have done my first new year’s resolution and done it well. But, what is even more interesting during this entire journey is that passion for reading is contagious. Before I knew it my friends were also picking up books, asking me for recommendations and reading books I had gushed about. My mother, who I have not seen pick up a book other than the Bible in the past 20 years, asked if we could go to the library and picked up some biographies which stunned the fuck out of me.
Overall? I am quite pleased. I know I’m not going to hit 100 again next year because my time is less given that I decided to go back to school but the passion is there in me and I am incredibly happy that the slump went away.