All About Books

Now that we are in the final months of the year, I’m staring to look back at the resolutions I’ve had for the last couple years. Last year, it was a different resolution a month. That lasted through April. This year my goal was to learn something new every day. That was WAY too hard to manage – some skills take more than a day, and when they were small little things it felt too scattered to have meaning.

Strangely enough, the resolution I set for myself this year that I didn’t make public is turning out really well: I joined the GoodReads 2013 Reading Challenge.

Goodreads logo

In my head, I view myself as a reader. I’ve been so pleased that my words and actions are lining up! I vowed that I would read 26 books this year. I am definitely on track for that.

I’m actually facing a dilemma: Do I count books on tape? My commute is about 30 minutes, so I have been listening to a lot of books this year. I’ve discovered a new-to-me author that I adore (J.D. Robb), and two of my top five books of the year have been listened to and not read: Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. 

The Alchemist

I have discovered that since my goal involves quantity, really long books have been giving me pause. Right now I am on page 450 of a book, and I have no desire to find out what happens.

The Passage by Justin Cronin started out great.
The Passage

I loved the first third of the book. I was flying through it. Then the second section started. It is a parallel story line, that I really don’t care about. The two sections just connected where I am in the book, but I’m not even at the half way mark and I can’t bring myself to carry on. I normally have a 50 page rule for quitting books – okay, it is more of a guideline than a rule, but you get my drift. What I really want is credit for the book, but I won’t cheat myself on the annual goal. Dang, I really need to get a life!

This was not my first long book of the year. I actually started the year with IQ84 by Haruki Murakami.

I was hooked from the beginning. I was with the characters for so long that they felt like friends. It was for that reason that I felt so disappointed by the ending. It had a tacked on feel, almost as if the author got tired and just threw something on to be done with it. I felt the characters deserved better!

I am so glad that I was introduced to GoodReads by Keena over at ProfKRB, who I discovered during my grammar days, but I have stuck with her for the fabulous book suggestions. She has a goal of 100 books this year! Many of the books in my queue were suggested by her, and she’s talked me out of some I’d heard about. I definitely plan to set another goal for next year. This has been such a rewarding challenge!

How have you been doing with your goals for the year? or Should books on tape count?

6 thoughts on “All About Books”

  1. First question – have you read Pyncbon’s The Crying of Lot 49?

    Books on tape…hmm. As a book purist, I’d go with no, because reading should be, well, reading. Tangible. Book in hand. However. I also think that if you can experience a book via listening and might not have otherwise, why not? How about blind people? If they were to listen to books, would we say they hadn’t read them?

    Resolutions…I chose to do the One Word 365 thing this year and my word has been Focus. I’ve done a few posts about my efforts and much of the rest I’ve kept to myself. I think it’s helped. But I also think it was too broad to produce the kind of success I was looking for, but I didn’t know that at the time. So for the next year, perhaps I’ll choose a particular focus for a week or a month or something. But overall, I did far better than years where I resolve to eat better, lose weight, climb a mountain, whatever. Although…I have done those this last year or two. Hmm.


    1. This was my first book by Pynchon, and it was incredible! I’ll put The Crying Lot of 49 on my list.

      I’m also torn about audio books, hence why I’m trying to get to 26 without counting those. I’ll be probably close to 40 if I do count them!

      Resolutions are always tricky for me. I find it strange that the one I didn’t tell anyone is the one I’ve kept! Hmmmmmmmmmm….


  2. I think you should definitely count books on tape. It still gets you through the books – it’s just in audio form, not visual. Although I don’t think you should rely solely on books on tape. Nothing beats the power of reading to immerse you in a new world and get information.

    24 books in a year sounds like a great idea. That comes out to two books a month. It’s very doable. I’ve been tracking how many books I’ve read this year and I’ve already reached that count and it’s only October.


    1. Congratulations on already surpassing your reading goal for the year with 2 months to go.

      I’m trying to come up with a good ratio in my head for an acceptable number of audio books versus the traditional page turning variety. I’m thinking 1/3, but with a much higher overall total. We’ll see….


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