Reading More

Pile of Books
Ca. 115 and counting by Horst Gutmann

My goal of 100 books this year is a little daunting.  I know it is going to be difficult because I’ve tried before and failed.   Hannah Sander of the BBC has some tips that might help though in her article How could I read more books.  She discusses speed reading as one possible solution and as a matter of fact I took a speed reading course when I was still in high school.  It was listed at a local junior college and curious I signed up when my parents said they would pay.

I’m glad I took the class it was fun.  And for the first time someone taught me how to read a book.  I mean I already knew how to read of course, but the instructor, I forget his name, taught me how to begin.  He liked to read the book jacket, everything on it.  Then start in on the book, not skipping any introductions or preface.  Before the class I often skipped both.  He then taught us the basics of speed reading, but also stressed that we need to still maintain an understanding of what we had read.

We would read in groups of two to ourselves.  We did this for about 10-15 minutes.  We would then tell our partner how much we had read, lines or pages, then we would tell our partner what we had read.  At first I was going so fast that I didn’t have any idea what had happened in the passage I read.  As we kept at it I got better.  I don’t use everything I learned from that class and I have purposely slowed down my reading speed, because I want to enjoy the books I am reading.

An instructor mentioned in Sander’s article read 150 books last year.  Which I think is doable, but I wonder how much he enjoyed it and what the rest of his life is like.  His suggestion was to become bored as reading is a great way to pass the time.  I find this especially true when flying across country.  Here you find yourself in a seat hurtling trough the air in a tin can.  The seat so small you can barely move and you are discouraged from moving around the plane.  So you are basically a prisoner to this smelly, cramped seat for hours.  This for me is a place I can polish off books no problem.  Even when the book is slow, what else are you going to do?  Watch the horrible little tv?  Some planes still don’t have this, even in cross country flights.

Besides, I find there are very few tv shows or movies as good as a well selected book.  Lastly, the article suggest reading with the time you have.  If you only have 15 minutes, read.  You don’t have to set aside hours at a time to read.  I read while waiting for my daughter to finish in her dance class.  With three dance classes a week I have a lot of time to read.  I see the other parents staring at their phones, but who knows, maybe they are reading too.  After all, I have War and Peace on my phone.

100 Books in a Year

Stack Of Books
Stack Of Books by Indi Samarajiva

Now, I’ve never read 100 books in a year.  Well, I probably have, but I don’t count the books I read to my kids in good reads, so only 96 in a year a few years back.  So, when I saw Aliza Weinberger’s article, What happened when I tried to read 100 books in a year, I was intrigued.

I would have liked to see more reviews in the article.  All her ratings where listed but nothing too much about what she thought of the books.  Just a few little sentences here and there.  To me it was more about her journey reading 100 books and less about what it meant to her or why she was doing it, other than just to do it.

She does later say:

…this project wasn’t really about the number of books I could read. It was about finding books that made me feel what reading had always done for me: that connection, that sheer joy of reading a book that both entertains and moves me.

That was nice to see in there.  The worst part was all the little gifs and advertisements that popped up while I was trying to read the article.  I can’t take Mashable articles seriously with all this junk popping up while I’m trying to read a article that genuinely interest me.  Good content is not going to keep me on the site, if it is observed by all this other stuff.

I was going to read another article that Weinberger linked to on Mashable, but I gave up after having so much trouble loading the first article.  I hope they clean that site up, thy have some good content.

I don’t think I will have as rough a time reading my hundred as Weinberger did.  I know what I want to read, I have a TBR shelf of hundreds of books.  Getting through them all will be the tough part.  Wish me luck!