A question I keep asking myself as I continue with this blog is “What am I reading for?” or for those of you concerned with grammar: “For what purpose am I reading?”
Am I reading to read as many books as I can, say 100 books or to fulfill this or that challenge?
Like my book giveaway, which is still in holding, I got a little carried away with challenges and signed up for nine challenges, which to some might not be that many, but for someone like me who’s never entered challenges like this previously, it was.
Out of the nine, I have failed five challenges:
- Southern Reading Challenge 2008
- Classics Challenge 2008
- 100 Books Challenge
- Orbis Terrarum Challenge
- Herding Cats Challenge
Ones still in play are:
- 1 percent Well Read Challenge
- Book Awards II Challenge
- Lit Flicks Challenge
- Pulitzer Project, which most likely will be in play for the rest of my life.
So what I’ve decided after all this is that the reason I’m reading is not for challenges. It’s not to put another notch in my belt.
What is it then? If you look at what I’ve read this past year, you’ll see that I’ve read a wide variety of books, from mystery to non-fiction to science fiction to classics to graphic novels to young adult novels. I like to think it’s quality over quantity, but that’s not always the case. It is for what I aim.
Not everything I read is didactic, so it’s not that I’m trying to learn a life lesson. However, in a way it is, that by reading a variety of books, I am being exposed to a broad range of experiences. This year, I’ve read books written by authors, both male and female, black and white, from all over the world and books written for a variety of age groups. I suppose that is a good part of it: to be exposed to a broad range of experiences and hopefully to widen my own narrow experience.
This coming year, I think that is on which I am going to focus: to continue to broaden my reading across all kinds of barriers. I will leave the challenges I have “in play” in play, but if I don’t complete them, I’m not going to beat myself up. It’s all been a part of the journey regardless and even though some of the reading challenges are finished, my reading journey isn’t.
It’s just beginning.