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12th January 2018: Combining Goals, General Thoughts, And Reading Life

A photograph of Netley Abbey

I didn’t read as much in December as I’d planned, what with all the busyness of Christmas and other happenings. I’m hoping to make up for it later this month; I’ve many ‘easier’ books to read (I dislike that term but romance and fantasy is generally less mentally taxing, and I welcome it).

The yearly tradition of Thackeray being moved to the new year’s reading list has happened. This year he took with him Solomon Northup – he got lost amongst review copies some months ago – and J Courtney Sullivan’s The Engagements, which is a relative tome to start in late November with the festive season looming.

For the first time since I started reading avidly, I specifically asked that any Christmas presents not be books. I received one book and that was only because it was a present that had been meant for another occasion and hadn’t turned up in time. It was a strangely wonderful situation; as much as I have lots of books to get to regardless, not receiving more was freeing. And as much as receiving an awesome book can get you out of a funk, I can say that not receiving any books can do similarly. In fact I’m now raring to go, there’s just one thing I’m having to consider:

I’ve been spending a lot of time knitting. A few years ago, my Second Mum, as I’ll call her, started making me sweaters after she saw me wearing shop-bought knitwear. Having always been interested in knitting but only ever knowing enough to start but not finish a scarf (I’ve 3 of those lying around), I asked for instruction and now have enough knowledge to graduate to sweaters myself. I did the logical thing and decided to make my first project one for a small person rather than my adult self so there was less to lose if it went wrong… and then soon realised it wasn’t so logical a choice because children grow at an alarming rate. At best, my nephew will be able to wear the sweater for the rest of the cold season we’re currently in so it’s a bit of a race against the clock. I’ve decided I’ll make him a hoodie next but a couple of sizes bigger so I don’t feel the need to spend all my free time making it and can pick it up every now and then. The good thing is that the reading in the small moments idea has translated well to knitting – from what I’ve read, those who knit a lot have their projects ready for queues and public transport, just like readers their books.

So that’s taking more of my time at the moment but I’ll be finished soon and looking forward to giving time back to reading; I enjoy it but knitting is going to have to go a few steps back in the priority line.

…Because I am reading, albeit slowly. On a few present-giving occasions last year, I found myself with a selection of romance books – hence the note at the beginning of this post. I received the last two books in Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses series, a couple of books by Sherry Thomas, and a Sarah MacLean I’ve heard a lot about. I also received Eowyn Ivey’s To The Bright Edge Of The World, and in terms of review copies Jessie Greengrass’s Sight is high on the list. I won’t be getting to them all one after the other but most will be read fairly soon.

Once again I’ve decided not to set any particular reading goals – I’ll read as much as I can get to. Last year’s reading wasn’t as diverse as I’d hoped and I think keeping that in mind this new year may mean it’ll be better. Certainly it seems that when I make any sort of specific target in regards to anything related to books it doesn’t happen. Vague notions are best.

What are you hoping to achieve this year, in terms of reading or otherwise?

 
 

Tracy Terry

January 13, 2018, 2:52 pm

Because of circumstances 2017 was a poor year reading wise … I only managed to get through 74 of the 204 I had hoped to read.

Interesting that you found not getting books so freeing. Previously I wouldn’t have understood this but with commitments to authors piled up and a pile of new books waiting to be read I now understand just what you mean.The answer for me however is probably to learn to say no a bit more than I do and concentrate on all those lovely books that I’ve received instead.

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