Reading

Still Here…

I can’t tell you how surprised I am to find that it is nearly the end of October already. Or Sunday of a new week for that matter! On the one hand, I don’t feel like I can say that my life is really that busy, but on the other, time flies by so quickly, that I wonder how I’m ever going to fit everything in. I really hate the feeling that something is always hanging over me that I really need to get to, but it seems every time I get something crossed off the list, something new pops in to takes its place. And in my state of half-avoiding, half-doing the things I know I should, I don’t seem to manage to get to the things I actually want to do either.

All this to say I’m a bit disappointed that I’ve only just managed to finish two books in the month-plus since I last posted. And the one (the thick, heavy book) was a disappointing read at that! As I had vacation the second week of October, I had hoped to accomplish more than that, but at least on the reading front it wasn’t to be.

I’m not sure how to get out of this slump. I have decided to spend a little time every day working on something I’m avoiding/know I should do and a little time each day to do something I want to do but put off because other things need doing more. That should hopefully help a little bit with the time side of things.

As for the actual reading, I think I need to get back to my planned “Great Books” reading from early this past summer. After La Commedia Divina, I felt that I needed to take a break from weighty texts, but my forays into more contemporary novels have been less exciting. It’s not that I expected anything great of the books I was reading—I knew going in that they were not exactly award-winning selections—but I had hoped to at least loose myself to the story, and for the one at least that did not happen. So many people are scared away from the “classics,” but my experience is that these tried-and-tested stories are often so much more engaging or worth the effort than many of the more recent efforts I have picked up. (This is general, not absolute, and unduly influenced by the fact that most of the more contemporary novels I’ve read have been the lighter side of fiction rather than the type that requires active reading.)

I’ve been informally creating a list of books I’d like to read over the last few months—mostly from the “great books” pantheon—and, given my fondness of lists, I’ve been considering the need to formalize a list for my reading. There’s something attractive in the idea of generating a “100 novels” or “250 classics” list to select my reading from, as Allie and Jillian have done. I think the truth is, however, that I’m too impulsive when it comes to my reading habits—I may start out well, but instead of a nice, feasible 100 books list, I’ll continually add on, and end with an impractical 5,555 books list. I don’t necessarily wish to stick with a “pre-manufactured” list (1001 Books to Read Before You Die, for example) either, for both the same reason, and because I don’t necessarily wish to read all the books on another’s list. I haven’t really decided anything for certain, yet. I may cave in to the lists after all, both to guide my reading and so I don’t forget something I actually want to read. And I really like lists!

In other business, way, way back in August, Kinna of Kinna Reads was lovley enough to pass on the “One Lovely Blog” award to me. I’m afraid I’ve been more-or-less away from the blog since then, inconsistent blogger am I, but thank you very much, Kinna!

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some thoughts on actual reading!

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11 thoughts on “Still Here…

  1. Welcome back, Amanda! I look forward to seeing which book leads you out of your slump, but failing that a post about one of your book lists* would also be cool with me (*I admit it, I’m a lists geek…). Take care!

    1. Thank you! To be honest, I wasn’t sure anyone would still read this after over a month away. I’m curious to find out which book will take me out of my slump, too–I’m hoping it will be Santa Evita, which I still haven’t started, but intend to read this week.

  2. Isn’t it frustrating when things pile up, and/or get in our way? Here’s to hoping you have a great week ahead and time to enjoy the things you love. Thanks for visiting me today. (Your header is gorgeous by the way.)

    1. Thank you! I took the picture in one of those rare moments of inspiration when I realized how nicely the pear blossoms looked against the wall.

      As for the pile up, I think the biggest frustration is when that happens because I let it rather than simply dealing with things as they come. That’s what I would really like to work on, and I think the rest will (hopefully) fall in place. I’m happy to stop by your site–I’m afraid I’m just not as good at leaving comments as I should like. Thank you for stopping here!

  3. I know what will get you reading! A 250 Books List! 😉

    Seriously, I feared the same thing you fear (the loss of spontanaeity), but honestly, there are 250 books…

    I can still be spontaneous.

    And more than that, it’s your list. Change it at will. I know I s you grow. Have an ‘other’ list you can fall back on when you’re restless.

    Do as Allie’s doing and skip the list for a month to read children’s books.

    It’s all part of YOUR unique journey, and I sincerely think it’s worth it.

    Good to meet you. 🙂

    1. I will say that for some reason the number 250 is really tempting! Actually, though, I’m leaning towards the idea of multiple smaller ‘focused’ lists. This would give me lots of leeway, while avoiding a number that could feel overwhelming. There are a few areas where I really want to focus, so I think that might be the best strategy at the moment.

  4. Sorry, some typos there. My keyboard skips letters because it’s really REALLY old…

    I can’t recall what the gibberish part is supposed to say, but I’m sure it was meant to be inspiring. 😀

  5. Sorry I didn’t see this till now!

    My month off was wonderful. I felt free to read what I wanted after over a year of reading heavy classics. But now that I am looking back on it, I’m kind of kicking myself. Now there are a million other things on my mind that I want to read…and none of them are on my list. 🙂

    What I am doing now is forming my one big list into smaller ones-with sub-topics and themes so I can pick and choose what to read based on what I am feeling. Over the last year I’ve just been reading whatever caught my eye from my shelf, but I think this will keep me focused.

    And if you decide to do a project list like Jillian and me are doing, make your own rules! After all, rules are meant to be broken. 🙂

    1. No problem, I know how busy you’ve been and how easy it is for things to slip past!

      It sounds like your new system of small lists/sub-topics is along the lines of what I’m doing, only I’m skipping the one big list. That way I can make my small lists as big as I want, ignore the total and not get overwhelmed. And I can keep adding to them!

      It’s fun making out the lists, as I have the time, but there is the big downside that I keep realizing how much time I don’t have. Sigh. Guess that’s why we aim for the best books.

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