Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tell me where's the challenge if you never try

One my goals this year was to read 52 books in 52 weeks, a challenge proposed by Eilonwy.

As of 2:42 AM, this morning, I accomplished that goal by finishing She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot. I finished listening to book 53 (Notes from a Liar and Her Dog) as I was packing just now.


I made this challenge even harder for myself by choosing not to read books I'd already read. I'm a re-reader, and love reading certain books multiple times, so to not pick up one of my comfortable standbys was quite the challenge sometimes.

Instead of re-reading what was already on my shelves, I made use of the new library branch very close to my house, as well as downloading audiobooks to listen to at work. I discovered new authors and lots of new stories. Some of them were pure brain candy - books without any substance but entertainment. Much like Twinkies. But I also read a couple non-fiction titles, something I said I wasn't going to do because my brain was already so overloaded with school work. Of course, I also read everything in between.

One of the reasons I accepted this challenge was because of school. I've always been a voracious reader, thanks to my mom's weekly trips to the library. We were allowed to check out six books every week, and I almost always finished them by the time we went back. I can't tell you how many books I bought at book fairs or through book orders.

However, during high school and undergrad, I slowed down, at least a little. Especially in undergrad, I had so much other reading I had to do, that my reading for pleasure fell by the wayside. I didn't stop reading completely, but if I had countd my books those years, the number was significantly lower.

Then I was burned out. After hundreds of plays and articles and essays, I couldn't read anymore. I hardly remember where I even put my bookcase in my first post-college apartment, and I rarely had books strewn about. When I moved to DC, I started getting back into it more, and was just picking up reading steam when I started school all over again.

So, when Eilonwy proposed this challenge, I figured it would be a great way to not get burned out again, as well as have a way to escape from all the madness.

I was right. Some weeks I read 4 books and I'm sure there was at least once I didn't read a thing for 4 weeks. Still, it all averaged out, and by the end of next week, I'll probably have finished at least two or three more.

I love reading.

As for my other goals, I mostly triumphed as well.

I did buy that book, and I played tourist a few times, particularly when I had visitors.

I took a dance class, but realized it was too far away to make it a habit. So, I took piano instead.

I ran not one, but three 5K races, until I was told not to anymore.

I didn't quite maintain my 4.0, but my current 3.87 is nothing to be sad about.

I also didn't really add to my official personal history, but I did journal every night (except one, as I recall).

Not too shabby!

1 comment:

Giggles said...

I accept the challenge.

I wrote about how I did on the challenge for 2008 on my blog. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun with the variety of books I read.