While I am not trying to speed the year along (would prefer time to slow down to be honest), I won't be sad to see this 'reading year' come to an end. There have been lots of things about it that I liked, new book discoveries and a class I am enjoying immensely. It has also been a frustrating year for me and a disappointment in many ways, too.
I've decided I need to seriously revamp and rethink my reading style. I have been contemplating the one book at a time method, but I think it won't work for me. In theory it sounds really good--immersing myself in one story and not coming up for air (so to speak) until I come to the very end. When I do read this way it is a very different reading experience than the chipping away at a story method over many days and weeks (or sadly, years). But in reality I know I will come up against a book I am not willing to immerse myself in quite so intensely. I'll be tempted by some other book or lured away by library books that cannot be renewed and then find myself in exactly the same situation as this year. I definitely need to bring my reading piles under control. As a matter of fact I think I am going to try and begin 2015 with a clean slate!
I'm not going to finish all my in progress books, so either a very few get to 'carry over' into the new year or more likely, unfinished and untouched (of recent) books will be going back to the bookshelves or book piles for later consumption. I am always loathe to do this as my fear is I won't get back to the book ever. And I hate the idea of being perhaps hundreds of pages into a story and then letting it go. All that time and effort and then the book gets set aside permanently.
Sometimes letting go and starting with a fresh slate is a good thing, though, don't you think? There was a time, not so very many years ago, that I might have read about fifty books over the course of the year (on a good year I can now read close to 85-90, but not this year), read maybe two or three at most at one time and happily spent lots of my free time (or my breaks at work where I get in extra reading these days) doing needlework (some years--really good ones--I might finish 25-30 small projects). And then along came blogging. A huge and happy discovery, but it also changed how I go about things. In many ways this has been good, but in other ways maybe I have become too obsessive?
For next year's reading plan I want to not have a plan. I have been thinking instead that I might explore a few different subjects (reading lists and ideas to come in a very unplanned and organic way--and nothing set in stone). I want my reading to be serendipitous and to read as much from my own bookshelves as I possibly can. Maybe a little less accumulation of new books, too. No reading challenges (except one or two I enjoy each year).
And this is the tough one--to keep my current read pile down to a very, very, very low roar. I used to have just a few categories of books on the go at once--a novel, a nonfiction, a mystery and a classic, and then maybe one or two other miscellaneous books--a library book perhaps or book from a special project I might be working on. If I take another class in the spring (fingers crossed as I hope very much it will work out to take another class), maybe whatever novels we are reading would be the other miscellaneous book.
Hmm. Maybe even that is too much planning and too many books at once? I wouldn't mind starting off the new year with some direction in mind, but lots of room for that serendipity. I need to figure out how to get back to a less self-conscious mode of reading--not worrying about what I am not reading or accomplishing (or finishing or finishing fast enough) and just enjoying what I am! (Sorry, this seems to be a common theme on my posts this year).
Easier said than done? Maybe by the end of the year I will have it figured out and will have a clean night stand, with just four or five books to share with you. Six weeks to think about it.
Do you read without plan or forethought? Or do you obsess? Do you abandon books without a trace of guilt? Or read to the bitter end irregardless. Do you read just one book at a time or a whole pile, and if the former, how do you not let yourself be tempted by something new? Can you tell I am looking for a little reading inspiration, hoping to learn a few tricks to keep my own reading in check? Advice and suggestions welcome. Of course it always comes down to simply enjoying whatever book I have in hand and not worrying about the small stuff.