I keep looking at my booklist and thinking, “I had to have read more books than that in 2011.” According to my accounting, I read fourteen books last year. Fourteen. And one of them was short enough it really should have been in the running for what they’re calling “long reads” these days. But I’ll count it, because at this point I’ll take all I can get.
I’m still kind of reeling at the thought that I read about a book a month this year — about 1/3 of the books I read in 2010. Does having a baby make that much difference?
Yes. Very yes.
With this limited time, I chose my books more carefully. No more of this spending six months picking away at a book off and on (I’m looking at you, James Madison) — I decided that if I was going to read something, it was going to be something I wanted to read, something I was going to enjoy, something I was going to finish. I didn’t assign myself any reading this year. I didn’t read with an agenda. I didn’t read with an angle. I didn’t read anything that would set me up to fail (except the two books I tried to read on my phone — I really have to either cave and buy a Kindle or accept that I am not quite a member of the digital age yet).
I read books I had been meaning to read. I read books that excited me. I read books that I had to talk about with other people. I read books so I could be part of a conversation. I read books to make sure there was more to me than being Erin’s mom.
So while I only read fourteen books this year, I read mostly really good books. I read books that make me think and books that made me laugh and books that made me wish I had more time to blog. I hope 2012 is full of those kinds of books as well.
I made a promise to my dad that The Lonely Land by Sigurd F. Olson would be my first read of 2012 — a book that needs to go under “Books I’ve been meaning to read” and “Books that evoke an emotional response” and “Books that are beautifully written” and “Books that will make me go buy the rest of the author’s catalogue.” After that, I don’t know what I’m going to read — okay, I’m lying, I’m reading Mindy Kaling’s book next, but after that, who knows where I’m going next. And that, friends, is part of the excitement of reading.