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A Mid-Year Reading Resolution

It’s a few months off mid-year already, but some reading experiences I’m having lately have driven me to write this post.

From the beginning of August I decided to join HobbyBuku’s To Be Read and Reviewed (TBRR) Historical Fiction Challenge, in order to encourage myself to spend more time cleaning up my pile of historical fiction books. The reading challenge is quite ambitious with giving badges according to how many pages the participant(s) could have read in a month (the more pages, the better).

For example, if you can read 1,000 pages or more of historical fiction books, you get to have the Historian badge. If you only read 800 pages but less than 1,000, you’re settled to have the Curator badge.

On August I was doing good and awarded myself a Historian badge, but this month I’m kind of stumbling. The books on my reading list this September are Uncle Tom’s Cabin (dunno why it takes me SO LONG to finish this one! For me it’s somehow tedious 😦 ), The Book Thief (I’m now in the middle of it, which is not a bad thing), and Les Miserables. As for Les Miserables, this month I planned to finish Volume I: Fantine, which has about 300 pages. And right now, sadly, I have only read one third of it.

Besides TBRR Reading Challenge, I also joined a number of other reading challenges with following objectives in mind:

  • to clean up my towering pile of unread books, and
  • to explore.

My need to explore caused my joining in this reading challenge and that reading event, such as Fanda Classiclit & Ngidam Buku’s Let’s Read Plays. I decided to join because I want to explore plays, especially from Shakespeare. Hence, my first objective which is to clean up my towering pile of unread books somehow shifted to exploring mode, which requires me to read new books instead of the ones I already have. Get my point?

And also I realized some of my weaknesses when it comes into reading:

  • I only have maximum 3 or 4 hours per day to read.
  • I’m moody, which only worsen the condition mentioned above.
  • I haven’t had an e-book reader yet, which makes reading some books in digital format like the unabridged version of Les Miserables and Shakespeare plays considerably challenging.
  • I sometimes feel jealous to my friends whose reading speed is faster than I am. Being able to read fast, they could write more reviews and complete more challenges.

As I was contemplating on my weaknesses, the main question came into view again.

What am I reading for?

For pleasure?

For knowledge?

For being able to boast afterwards?

And I came into conclusion that I read for the experience itself. My reading, either the quantity or quality of it, shouldn’t be determined by how many books I have. Nor by how many challenges I’ve completed. Nor by how fast I could read and write reviews.

An Evening at Home – Edward John Poynter

In spite of having joined so many different reading challenges and reading events, right now I feel like I need to slow down a bit. Hopefully I will be able to come back with fresh spirit to read and fresh mind to put my reading experiences into blog posts.

It doesn’t mean that in the meantime I will stop reading, no! I just need to take my time. No need to be so ambitious. Which is why, with apologies, I decided to skip September’s Classic Author of the Month.

It is my personal journey through literature, and it’s my decision whether to take the journey in fast track or slowly. I chose the latter option. Now’s the time to reach quality over quantity!

How about you? Are you having same experiences as mine? What are you reading for?

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9 thoughts on “A Mid-Year Reading Resolution

  1. 🙂 I always think enjoyment in reading is my ultimate goal in reading or when I’m taking any challenges or something. I prefer taking a stroll and savour the phrases and sentences. quantity and speed come later. at the end, I read for pleasure.. (and not to impress) 🙂

  2. Well, I am a “challenge” person, meaning that I love to challenge myself; I like having a goal to accomplish, and the satisfaction when it is accomplished. But I agree with you, Melisa, I’m now rather challenge myself based on the quality than quantity. From November I will challenge myself with WEM. I had set a list containing 30 books, but I didn’t set a deadline to finish itu. I will follow my own pace. Other than that, I want to explore more books in the 1001 books you must read before you die, without any deadline too. Well…good luck then for our reading explorations!

  3. With too many books I WANT to read, I always try to boost up my speed without forcing myself. Sometimes I get frustrated when the situations didn’t allow me to read more, or made me read far below my target. But, like you, I wouldn’t sacrifice my reading pleasures with targets I couldn’t reach. Happy reading all the time 🙂

    • Yes, this post is written out of frustration too, so I know exactly how you felt. But as Melani pointed out so well above, let’s put enjoyment on top of other things! Happy reading!

  4. I always thought that quality is more important mel, and i tried to remember that reading is a pleasure. don’t make it as a burden that can drag you away from the treasures called books =) just enjoy the moment!

  5. Pingback: Let’s Read Plays Reading Event: My List « Surgabukuku

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