I have always had a love of reading, an interest which was encouraged by family. A reference when I was in search of my first job and written way back in 1976 clearly states “has a love of reading and animals”. Still true on both counts.
My reading choices have always been random, best described as reading to suit the mood. Same with the listening selection really – there is music for all moods.
Well, that is except for my Errol Flynn and Prisoner of War Diary Collections which I have touched upon previously.
When my youngest daughter turned 16 years I chanced upon an interesting book which I felt made an interesting birthday gift – 1001 Books To Read Before You Die. Fruit Of My Loins threw herself into this challenge, a task she continues to this day, and her enthusiasm encouraged me to participate on this journey. In my case, it was more about the shared interest, the hunting through book stores and charity sales together and celebrating our finds over a lunch. It was a bond throughout those years which are usually so full of angst.
Once she flew the nest my interest waned, though I continue to keep an eye out for some of those older and harder to come by reads as birthday and Christmas gifts.(Incidentally, I hit 273 recently whilst FOML is up around the 600 mark. Don’t laugh. It’s a harder task than you think).
I then turned to the Goodreads Reading Challenge, though to be honest I found reading a particular number of books did not equate to enjoying said books. It was music icon Frank Zappa who once said ” too many books, too little time”.
A few years ago, my reading followed that years Popsugar guidelines. You know the ones I mean: read a book printed the year you where born, read a book with a pink cover, or one that has been turned into a movie. Nice and fluffy, never particularly taxing, and a great way of forging a relationship with the local librarian. Having completed this Challenge I don’t need to do it again.
For the last two years I have been participating in the Australian Author Challenge which has proved hugely rewarding. Firstly, because it is wonderful to support our own talent, and in many cases, read novels set in our own diverse country or utilising our own history. Secondly, becoming acquainted with new authors and reading different genres has broadened my reading experience greatly.
Lastly, this Challenge requires only a maximum of twelve books a year which leaves plenty of time for my random reads.
So just a wee bit of structure meets my requirements. I’m not about meeting targets, but rather, enjoying the journey.
What about you? Is it the Challenge or the Journey?