So, I just spent the last hour or so archiving a bunch of old posts. I'm sort of feeling like a cleaner slate this time around. Though, I'm already second-guessing myself and might put some of the old reviews back up. I always think you need context and history. We'll see.
In 2011, I read 75 books and I blogged reviews about most of them. I wrote about my feelings reading them and what I learned from the authors. In between, I shared original works I'd written and some vague musings unattached to literary pursuits. I retained a lot about those stories because I lived with them and translated the experience into the written word.
Since 2011, I haven't read as many books in a single year. The intervening years since have the following stats:
2012 - 27
2013 - 25
2014 - 22
2015 - 35
2016 - 68
2017 - 46
2018 YTD - 27
I got the closest in 2016. Which, is a little surprising. That was a weird year, all told. I am the kind of person who retroactively applies lessons to my experiences. I feel like I've learned things about myself as a reader in the last 5 years:
1) I tend to hit a lack of motivation to read between approximately March and July.
2) I really deeply feel the books I read as I read them and then almost completely forget everything about them.
3) My tastes have grown, but I'm still most comfortable in YA Fantasy.
Anyway, my goal this year is 80. And I want to remember these books and stories better. I want a record of where I was as a person when I met these books. And, a constant goal attached to blogging, I want to develop a community around this experience.
I found myself at the edge of a terrifying precipice in August of 2016. I was fired from a job I'd spent years solely focused on. It felt like all of my identity was stolen from me and thrown in the garbage and I had no say in it. Since then, I've found new things. I've started to heal in some ways. I'm still angry about other things. There's a lot about life in my 30s that is very different from what I used to imagine it would be. What does this have to do with books?
One idea that came to me when I found myself without a job was this memory of how book clubs make me feel like I'm coming to life. Really, it happens any time I get to discuss writing or reading or story with someone. It feels like I'm tapping into this source deep within me. I feel like I'm not describing it well. But, ultimately, I think this is what has called me back to blogging about my reading. That and a friend shared with me that she liked what I used to write. Why was the encouragement different this time? I'm not sure. Maybe writing again will help me figure that out. I do a lot of soul-searching in the process of writing a blog. Choosing the words I want and applying them to an experience rooted in feeling. It's not always easy, but it helps me to navigate myself.
No time like the present to start this, even though we're halfway through 2018 and I've already read 27 books. The math works out to this:
The goal - 80 books
Read - 27 books
Remaining - 53 books, 7 months
Total - 7.5 books a month
I have about 47 books identified as books I want to read before this year is over. And over 200 on my general "Want to Read" list on Goodreads.
So, here is where I am. To provide context I think I'll do a shorter retrospective of the year so far. And we'll start with the real-time blogging with the books I'm currently reading. You can follow along with my process here and on Goodreads.