When I was 10, my Papa Charlie and I were out shopping and came across one of the thickest books I’d seen up to that point: The Book of Virtues by William Bennett. Clocking in at 800+ pages, he joked about how no one could finish a book that long and I defiantly stated that I could. We left the store and I thought no more of it.
Fast forward to Christmas that year when Papa Charlie hands me a heavy present: The Book of Virtues. Wide-eyed and excited, I immediately started reading and was finished within days.
I’ve always been a voracious reader. If it’s a particularly good book, I will completely immerse myself in the story, only occasionally coming up for air. There’s just something about a good book that takes you away from this world. I love movies too but it’s different. Maybe it’s because the characters and scenes can materialize in a number of ways in your mind while reading a book, whereas you are forced into one interpretation while watching a movie.
As much as I love reading, it’s become more and more difficult to carve time out of my day for it. That’s why I was excited to learn about the #Read26Indy challenge and use it as motivation to make reading a priority again.
The goal was simple enough: Read 26 books by the end of the year. I learned a few things on my adventure through 26 (well, 27) books in 2014:
- I wish I would have kept a running list of books I’ve read throughout my life. I can’t even imagine how long it would be, not including the books I’ve read multiple times.
- I’ve also started a running list of books I want to read next and ones recommended by friends – something I also wish I would have started a long time ago.
- When I find an author I like, I tend to read everything by them. (ex: Kate Morton, John Green)
- I know there’s a lot of debate among purists about the Kindle. I have an overflowing bookcase in my bedroom and love it. But the Kindle is just too convenient, especially when traveling. For my part, I did a mix of both in 2014. Indy Reads Books is a fantastic shop on Mass Ave that supplied more than a few of my selections.
- For the first time that I can remember, I gave up on a book. I got about 100 pages into Anna Karenina, which is on almost every “must read classics” list, before realizing I was forcing myself to get through each page. Reading should be fun, not work. Unless it’s literally for school or work of course. Sorry, Leo.
- I didn’t love everything I read (see above) but the challenge reminded me how much I love and miss reading. In my limited free time, mindless Netflix marathons can take over (and are so necessary sometimes) but I need to keep reading a priority.
So, onto the list. If there’s anything you want recommendations on, drop a note in the comments and I’ll let you know my thoughts.
- If I Stay
- The Husband’s Secret
- Where She Went
- The Distant Hours
- One More Thing
- Looking for Alaska
- The Corporate Creative
- Honey Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner
- The Complete Graphic Designer
- Graphic Design Solutions
- The Mill River Recluse
- The Secret Keeper
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane
- My Sister’s Keeper
- Black Chalk
- A Life Without Limits
- Mrs. Dalloway’s Party
- The Awakening
- Madame Bovary
- This Is Where I Leave You
- The Forgotten Garden
- The Children Act
- Yes Please
- Paper Towns
- Rain Girl
- The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch
Did you participate in #Read26Indy? What did you take away from the experience? What was the best book you read this year? The worst? Have you ever given up on a book?