I read. A lot. Books give me joy. Reading books, smelling books, listening to books being read aloud, talking about books, sharing books, buying books, walking through aisles of books, looking at walls covered in books, stacking books next to my bed….
My current favorite thing about books? The way that my 9 week old daughter smiles with delight as her papa reads her a book on his lap. She coos at the pages and chortles. Last time I tried to read to her? Squalls of discontent. Boobs are apparently still better than books in her world.
In a way, books - and reading - may be even more necessary to me this year than in years past. I took one hobby (yoga) and turned it into a business, a job, a career - calling it may be, but something I do solely for myself it is no longer. And then more recently, I took another hobby (weaving) and also turned it into a business; a fun one, a joyful one, but a job nonetheless. And mothering? Mothering might be my primary activity these days, it may be mostly fun, and infinitely rewarding. But it is hardly a thing that I do for myself alone. I feel like keeping something that is just for me, just for joy, just for fun, is important.
Goodreads reflects that I read 79 books in 2015. Not half bad for a year in which I was pregnant and not-infrequently exhausted and sleeping 18 hours a day. My goal was 100, and I’ve set the same goal for myself this year. I expect that I’ll vastly outpace myself and clock in at well over 100 books in 2016.
Because here’s the thing. Kid’s books are books. Those numbers for 2015? They include a Jan Brett book or three.
I’ll read novels and books on yoga and health. I’ll read “Big Magic.” I’ll finish Harry Potter in French. I’ll read for my own amusement and pleasure. I’ll read to feed my own soul. But always and increasingly, I’ll read to Avery. We will read about trolls and treasure hunts, about ridiculous rooms with big green walls and hideous red carpets, about mice and cookies, and about moose and muffins.
Those are books. They count. (Though only once. Even if I read “Llama Llama Red Pajama” 12 million times, it only counts once!)
But just to spice things up a little, perhaps to nudge me past my comfort zone, I’ve printed out a few reading challenges that have been making their way around the interwebs. This one from the Modern Mrs. Darcy is short and sweet and fun. This one from PopSugar is lengthy and honestly, the one I’m least likely to complete. Because political memoirs and dystopian novels? Not my cup of tea. I turn pages primarily for the joy they bring me. Then there’s this one from Book Riot, with the most diverse categories of the three. I’m excited about this one. Or most of it. Again with the dystopia. And horror? Does medieval dismemberment porn in saint’s lives count? I could read one of those again. While I’m certain I could find phenomenal literature for adults, I’m really hoping that I check off “Read a book by or about a person that identifies as a transgender” with a kid’s book.
What about you? What are you reading? What do you recommend?
So far this year, I’ve read “On the Night You Were Born,” “Je t’aimerais toujours,” and the first few chapters of “Surrender to the Devil.” If you were to judge by Regency Romance, Lucifer was a bona fide blue blooded Duke.