52 in 52, not including tattoos
This is how books feel to me. Always have, since those days when the bookmobile pulled up at the end of Click Drive and I climbed up those steps. Since my mother took me to the Terrell Park Library and was told I could 'take three'. Three????? Yes, three, and as soon as I read them I could have three more.
I read them in three days. And my mother would take me back to get three more.
Granted, many of them were Nancy Drew, but there were also autobiographies and biographies; I remember getting on a jaunt of Perry Mason mysteries for awhile. I remember walking down the aisles with my head sideways til it had a crick in it, looking at the titles sideways. I remember the musty smell, and still have a love of it.
In libraries, not my own house, of course.
As a sidenote, why someone couldn't see that a woman dragging six children with less than eight years between them wasn't blessed to 'take three' is beyond me. So we went back and went back and went back. And I've loved books as long as I can remember. Clearly someone worked on that rule because when I leave the library with my grandkids, we have our arms piled full and the challenge is to make sure we don't lose them in the house. Thank you, whoever you are, that fixed that rule.
My nightstand is this teensy, proper looking thing that fits well next to the bed, but I've always wanted an old oak pedestal table sitting there, with room for my clock, water, four books I'm currently reading, and the four waiting in the wings, a box of cheese-its to eat in bed, and a candle, of course. Maybe someone is currently working on that rule too, and oak pedestal tables will become more the norm, at least for those of us who love books. You go into the furniture store and they have the normal, proper looking ones, and the ones that really work for people like me.
So I took a challenge, at the beginning of 2014, to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I also set out to read the entire Bible in that same time. I just finished Revelation, only because I don't really like Revelation so I got it over with, and now I can go back to 1 and 2 Samuel, Ruth, Esther, etc. Obviously I prefer history over sci-fi. And how am I doing with the 52 in 52?
Well, I've read more than I would if I hadn't attempted 52, and the year still has 5 or so weeks in it. I could cram it full of Newberry award winners. That's a bucket list item for me, to read them all, and I'm plugging along at that. There's some wonderful writing out there in Newberry land. Right now I'm on #23 and #24 and #25, reading them all at the same time, with #26 - 28 sitting next to them, and #29-31 laying at the edge of the bathtub, waiting, waiting.
Right now I'm reading And the Mountains Echoed, by Hosseini (his third and the other two were wonderful). I was given a wonderful tip, by a friend years ago, to check out the book and the audio at the same time, so I read in the tub and bed and sofa, and listen while I'm upstairs sewing away on Christmas gifts. I read a blog recently where the author gave a month to month report of what she'd read with short and sweet reviews. I like that idea and will try to do that in 2015. As a quick review, I read Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman, back in the spring, and that, coupled with our daughter moving 2000 miles away, nudged me to get a dog. We're empty-nesters and travel a lot and a dog was completely impractical, but I did it anyway. So if you don't want to get a dog, don't read that book. Otherwise, I highly recommend it - I loved it! (And still am quite happy we got the dog.) (In spite of her barking in hotels til we're nicely asked to leave, and tee-tee on our carpet when she's upset with us, and having to share the cheese-its when I'd prefer to eat them all myself.)
Which leads me to something else I saw. This woman took a challenge to do 52 new things in 52 weeks. She and I are very different, but I love, love the idea of that. I've already eaten snails, and if I get a tattoo most of my family will disown me, but what a great year would that be? To sit in a coffee shop and just think about what I'm afraid of, what I don't want to die wishing I'd done?
If I don't get all 52 books read this year, I will still have read 'Looking for Me' by Beth Hoffman, and Lily the little Shih Tzu is quite happy I did; I will still have read Kitchen Counter Cooking School and tried cooking with abandon; I will have read 'Extreme Grandparenting' and learned to enjoy our grandkids more and let their parents figure out how to make them share; I will still have read 'Church Planters Wife' and understood better what our daughter's life is like right now. I will have met Jan Karon and read 'Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good and been envious of her hair.
If I don't get 52 new things done in 2015 I will have gotten some done. And that is quite likely the point. I'll post in January what my first 5 are, and if you have any suggestions for me (outside getting a tattoo or shaving my head) feel free to let me know! Or join me and share your list here by link.
PS If you need a list of what to read, this blog by Sarah Clarkson is wonderful, and chock full of wonderful books. So your nightstand can be in danger of toppling over, like mine.
PSS As a sidenote, I am glad Jesus is coming back, he wins, and all that, but Revelation is not my favorite book. Which likely explains why I also don't love poetry. At all. Unless it's by the guy who wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends. His poetry I quite enjoy.