I seem to start every January deciding that this will be the Year of Reading Randomly … what I want and when I want, unconstricted by outside influences. Reading for pleasure, in fact, not reading under pressure. This for example was what I put for my 2021 reading goals on the page ‘So many books‘:
I’ve subscribed again to the Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year, pledging to read at least 66 books in 2021. This will be regardless of whether they are first-time reads, rereads, library books or whatever.
And that’s it. I’ve decided that this year I shall read for pleasure. If I join in any reading event it will probably be last-minute and on a whim!
And yet every December this wannabe Epicurean finds that such hedonistic intentions have rapidly fallen by the wayside. Not only have I joined in reading events at the last minute but I’ve also signalled my intentions to participate well in advance — and even gone into details!
I could say it’s all the fault of you lovely bloggers of the bookish fraternities and sororities coming up with readalongs and reading months, and author-based events, but I’d be disingenuous. The fact is …
… once I see something shiny and attractive with words I get excited and even obsessive about it. I’ve even been inveigled — not unwillingly, I have to admit! — into helping run one or two of these, namely Witch Week and now Narniathon21. So I can only blame myself because no one is forcing me to getting involved.
But, to show you the depths of my foolishness, here are the memes I committed to, to a greater or lesser extent, this year:
- January. Vintage SciFi Month, Back to the Classics Challenge 2021, European Reading Challenge 2021.
- February. 21 TBR Books in 2021.*
- March. Dewithon, March Magics, Begorrathon.
- April. 1936 Club, Talking Tolkien.*
- May. Wyrd & Wonder.
- June. 20 Books of Summer–>
- July. 20 Books of Summer–>
- August. Book Lovers Day, Reading Robertson Davies, 20 Books of Summer.
- September. Readers Imbibing Peril XVI, World Kid Lit Month.
- October. Witch Week, 1976 Club.
- November. Novellas in November, SciFiMonth.
- December. Library Checkout. Narniathon21.*
You can see how easy it was for me to get sucked into each of these events — and I even thought up three of them (marked with an asterisk)! Some I joined in with reading just one book or two in the selected category, others I went for with near abandon. With a handful I made miserable progress — classics, SciFiMonth in particular — but heyho, you can’t win them all, especially if they were included on a whim. As for the Goodreads Reading Challenge I’m now in the region of eighty books instead of the *ahem* modest 66 originally set.
Another aspect of my obsessiveness I’ve noticed is posting: this blog has been managing, on average, a post every other day for many months. It’s been really enjoyable, and creative, and satisfying, but I really do have to revise this schedule as it’s just not sustainable in the long run.
And now an apology. As if to redress my completing so many books and memes I find I’ve been neglecting bloggers’ posts over the last week or so. I have a partial excuse: my other love is live music and with recent rehearsals and performances with an orchestra, a vocal ensemble and a choral society, plus preparations for Advent and Christmas services and supporting the music department of the local high school I’m afraid likes and comments from me have been less than forthcoming.
I hope for normal service to be resumed very soon: I know many of you will be looking back on the last year and I’m looking forward to seeing how you managed bookwise and how you’ve otherwise coped with another year of ups and downs.
Oh, and today is the feast of St Nicholas, the original of Santa Claus, a dead ringer for Father Christmas who, remember, appears in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Which reminds me, #Narniathon is running …