About this time last year, someone recommended that I keep track of my reading on Goodreads. I had a Goodreads account then, but I’d hardly used it. But for whatever reason, I decided to start using it in 2014. And I’m so glad I did!
I saw that Goodreads had a challenge where you set a numeric goal for the year. I tend to read a lot of educational philosophy and theology, and since those can take awhile to get through, I decided that I might not read a book a week, and very cautiously chose 30 for my goal.
And then I read 84 books!
I’m kinda proud. I mean, that makes me feel pretty accomplished.
I did read a fair amount of children’s fiction. Some of it was not long or difficult, so it’s not like I read 84 philosophy books or anything. But still…I really enjoyed keeping track of my reading. Goodreads is social media for nerds. 🙂 I wish more of my friends were on there. (Hint, hint.)
Goodreads gave me a tally page of all the books I read…can you see it if I link? My 2014 Challenge Books At one point I thought there was a widget, but I don’t see it now.
1. I wanted to read more fiction in 2014, since, as I said, I lean towards non-fiction. And I definitely did that. I finished the Narnia series for the first time. (And then immediately started re-reading them, using the audio book versions.) I also read the entire Lord of the Rings series for the first time. I read a lot of children’s fiction; some I read to my kids and some I pre-read over the summer, intending one of them to read it in the fall. I blew through The Dark is Rising series in no time, mostly while Wayne was in Texas. (Still trying to get Abby to read it.) I got in some “grown up fiction” (“adult fiction” sounds like, um, something else) too – Jayber Crow, What Alice Forgot, The Great Gatsby, The Three Musketeers.
(If you’re wondering, I read a lot in high school – we didn’t have a tv – but I read complete fluffy garbage. My mom called them “Johnny loves Susie books.” Not trashy in content, but not quality reading, either. It was kind of my zone-out time between school and work or piano or church or homework. So I have a lot of catching up to do with regard to classics.)
2. I hoped to read more history and biographies, but I didn’t do too much of that. I did – finally – finish Susan Wise Bauer’s History of the Medieval World. I read two interesting books about the Reformation. I did read the Metaxas biography of William Wilberforce.
3. Of course, there were books about education. The Latin-Centered Curriculum and Climbing Parnassus helped me sort out some priorities in our homeschool. Beauty in the Word and Norms and Nobilities were, unfortunately, not as meaningful to me as I wanted them to be. They get such high billing from the classical crowd. I suppose I have to grow more as a person before I can appreciate them. 🙂 The Book Whisperer encouraged me during the February doldrums.
Goals for 2015
I bought quite a few new books with Christmas gift money, and it’s hard not to plunge into them all at once. I’m actually reading 7 books right now. I know. I just want to Read All The Books. Like, this week. I keep having to remind myself that I plan to live another 50 years at least and that should give me time to read quite a few of them.
My goal for this year, actually, is to read more slowly. I tend to blow through books and then forget what I read. I decided to start a Commonplace Book this year, hoping that will help me remember important things about what I’ve read. (See this post about reading slowly and keeping a Commonplace – or just check out the Wiki article.) I’m sure I’ll still read plenty of children’s fiction – I am homeschooling, after all – but I also want to read more classics, and take time to think about what I’m reading.
1 and 2) How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, along with How to Read the Bible Book by Book, along with…the Bible. I’m planning to follow a two-year plan for reading through the Bible, again, hoping to take more time and think about what I’m reading.
3) Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works — this will be slow going whether I like it or not. Very dense.
4) The Man Who Knew Too Much – short stories by Chesterton. Accessible and delightful writing.
5) The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education
6) The Adventures of Robin Hood – okay, haven’t touched this since the break, but I’m reading it with Abby for her lit assignment.
7) America: The Last Best Hope, Volume 1 – This has been on my list for awhile, and I picked it up at the library yesterday. It’s actually really interesting, and I can see it taking over my reading time for awhile. It’s okay, I planned to read those other books slowly. 😉 We’re focusing on early American history in our school work this spring, so I thought it would be a good time for me to dig in as well.
If you have a Goodreads account and we’re not friends, friend me! I love to see what other people are reading!