The Observer Weighs in on the 100 Book Challenge

Current Books
These are just the ones that were on my desk in arms reach

Okay, another 100 book reading challenge article is this thing from the Observer going to be any good?

Does your reading list keep growing? Did you buy books that you’ve never read? It might be time to cross more books from your list this year than ever.

Yep.  They got me!  At least I’m not the only one.

Most of the books you read are not planned in advance. You don’t sit down in January and say: “The first week of June I’ll read this book.”

Actually, I do do that.  I have a pile that I get from the library and I read them in a certain order.  Usually by due date and the availability of renewals on the title. Darius Foroux, the author of this article makes a point of saying you need to have a lot of books around.  I agree, this helps, but he seems to have forgotten about libraries.  To have many books around you need to buy them which costs money.  No, again, library, it is free and you can usually check out somewhere around 20 books at a time.  Most libraries lending period is between 2 – 3 weeks and you can renew sometimes more than three times.  So, I don’t see why you have to have money to read a lot of books.

This doesn’t really apply to me, but I like to borrow books before I buy them.  If they are not something I like why should I spend money on them when I can borrow them for free.  Last year I saved over $800 by borrowing from local public libraries.

Darius, can I call you Darius, says not to overthink what book you are going to read next.  I do like to read some of the reviews on goodreads before starting a book.  I like to read the synopsis of the book too, just to see what I’m getting myself into.  Before I open any book I also read the cover, front and back to see what I can learn.  I think that is all part of reading the book.  I also do not skip introductions or forwards.  The only part I skips are the notes and acknowledgements at the end of books.

I’m beginning to think Darius’ rules are a little too strict.  Reading shouldn’t have so many rules!

I do like this though:

I live by a different motto: Always Be Reading.

I find this makes me feel guilty though.  Even as I write this blog post, I’m thinking should I be spending my time doing this or catching up on War and Peace or reading some more of Cold Comfort?  I like doing the blog post though so I need to make time for my other projects as well as reading.  Still….I do feel guilty any time I’m doing something that is not reading.

Darius is right, you must find time to read books if it is important to you do do so.  Just last night:

Next Darius covers a very important point.  Don’t read books you don’t like.  He says only read relevant books which I think is completely different, but if you don’t like something than stop reading it, good advice, but nothing we haven’t heard before.

Oh, I love this, “read multiple books at once.”  Yep.  Right now, here is the line up:

  1. On the Kindle: All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior
  2. On the Overdrive:  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  3. On iBooks: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. From the library: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  5. Reading with my daughter: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but I think there are some I forgetting.  You get the point though.

Darius’ last point “retain the knowledge”.  I do highlight in my kindle and ibooks when I find something I like or something that interest me, but I could be doing a better job of this of course.  I never make notes in a library book and I find that takes notes, takes me away from the story and out of “the zone” when I’m reading.  Therefore, I stopped doing that years ago.

Good job Darius, you hit some good points and I got a good reminder to be more studious and retain something from all these books I’m reading.  Because if you don’t gain anything from reading 100 books in a year, what was the point?

Reading Log

Stockholm Public Library
Stockholm Public Library by Samantha Marx

I ran across a link to May McLay Patterson’s enormously long titled I Read 164 Books in 2015 and Tracked them all in a Spreadsheet.  Here is what I learned. article.  It starts of a little too wordy for me and then the first tip is not to finish every book you start.  So far, this sounds like the same advice I’ve heard from a million other people, most notably Nancy Pearl.

I track what I’ve read and what I want to read on goodreads, but I also have a spreadsheet.  Just something simple on google sheets.  In 2015 I was interested if I read more male authors work or female.  So I started tracking it (67% male).  Patterson mentions that Amanda Nelson of Book Riot not only records their gender but also their nationality, and whether or not they identify as a person of color.  I thought this is great finally a way to better my existing system.

I loved that Patterson liked Stacy Schiff’s The Witches: Salem, 1692 because that book is on my short list of to TBR.  It drives me crazy that I haven’t read it yet.

Last year, the BBC reported that translations comprise just 2 to 3 percent of English publishing, compared with 27 percent in France and up to 70 percent in Slovenia.

Wow!  I’ve read two books this year that are translations The Stranger and Missing Person.  Both, oddly enough French translations.  Go figure!  Make that three, I didn’t realize that Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist was a translation.

I’m reading the article as I write this.  Patterson is a librarian and the more I read of this article the more my desire to be a librarian increases.  I’ve known for several years that I would like to do that kind of work, but I haven’t acted on it yet.  To many responsibilities to try to make this happen right now.  Maybe much later?

At the end of every book I loved, I felt transformed. I wanted to tell everyone about it…

I find this frustrating as none of my friends read as much as I do.  The ones that come close are not people I talk to as often as I would like.  I work with them and I’m too busy at work to have a long book conversation most days.  This is frustrating, I assume if you are a librarian you get to talk books a lot more.  Again, jealous!

I’m done now, and I feel that you would do well to read this article if you are a reader of books.  I enjoyed it.  Have fun and keep reading!