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Friday, December 5, 2014

For the Love of Libraries:
My reading goals


It's kind of embarrassing to say, but even though I write for a living, I don't read recreationally as often as I would like.

As a reporter, I read articles, local and national, from long form and Twitter feeds, almost constantly. But a book? Not nearly as much. (Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with my poor time management. But that's another story.)

I think coming to my lack of reading realization was through watching Gilmore Girls, of all things. Mark can tell you he's totally over my watching binge on that. I watched the series for the first time on Netflix, rather than being nostalgic and watching it again. It was nostalgic in a different sense, since Rory was an aspiring journalist that whole time, and the show was on throughout my high school years.

OK, the point: Rory seriously digests books. I Googled that she was filmed with more than 300 books throughout the seven-year series. I know she's a TV character and all, not a real human, but it still made me feel guilty.

My reading has come in spurts, usually by author.

Full disclosure: The first author I became obsessed with, in ninth or tenth grade, was Nicholas Sparks. (He's written some sappy romances novels, like The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, etc. etc.) So, so embarrassing. Haha. But I got over that eventually. Later in high school and in college, I fell in love with reading everything from David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk, Michael Chabon, Hunter S. Thompson. I was also obsessed with The Godfather for a time, thanks to an old boyfriend. Haha.

But over the last year or two, I can count the number of books I've read with one hand. Recognizing I would like to fit in reading more, I'm trying to make a more conscious effort to do it.

At the same time, over the years I've bought stacks of books, collecting from thrift stores, used book stores, and Amazon, and most of them end up collecting dust on my bookcase before ever cracking them open. No. Freaking. Longer.

I've decided that as a way to get better about reading, while also avoiding wasting money on books, is to completely rely on my current book collection and the library (and perhaps, borrowing from friends) as my only book sources. I literally have rows of books (pictured above) that I've either read ages ago or never had the time to read. (Some are Mark's too.) There are also some new releases I've been eager to get my hands on, particularly Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl.

The library has been a great savior in my little money saving, literary experiment thus far. New releases and popular books are usually available, but on a waiting list.

Perhaps getting a little too excited about this, I requested Amy Poehler's Yes Please, Lena Dunham's book, along with Gone Girl, and got them all within a week of one another. Poor me. So my current situation is I have to read three books in two weeks. (Books that are on hold at the library can't be renewed.) I'm done with Amy's book (it was OK), and I'm on Lena's book now, and hopefully I can start Gone Girl by the end of this weekend.

Now that I've gotten back into the swing of reading, I have a mental list of others I'd like to conquer next: The Game of Thrones series, Charles Bukowski, and a few authors I couldn't get into when I was younger, like Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac, and giving them another chance. I'm also trying to stay more accountable via GoodReads, which I've used sporadically over the last few years.

What are some of your favorite reads? Have any book/author recommendations?


  1. A few author recommendations-- Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore, Haruki Murakami. A classic-- Dostoevsky's, Crime and Punishment. A really cool book, Einstein's Dreams, a novel by physicist Alan Lightman. Anything by Bill Bryson but especially A Walk in the Woods or A Short History of Nearly Everything. Just some of my favorites.

  2. I love the library! Mine is so great. I feel you with the poor time management leading to less book reading too. I read a decent amount of books each year but I feel like I read more when my time is more structured. Being underemployed really makes it so my time is completely unstructured and I waste too much reading things on the computer! I wish you the best of luck getting back into the swing of reading!

    Jamie | PetitePanoply.com

  3. LOVE a lot of the books on your shelf! I think an interest in reading comes and goes sometimes, but it's awesome that you've made these goals! I read Gone Girl a few months ago and want to read Amy and Lena's books soon!

    I saw David Sedaris at Carnegie Music Hall a couple months ago and he was absolutely hilarious. I haven't read anything from him in a couple years, so one of my 2015 reading goals is to read some of his books that I haven't gotten around to yet.

    Just added you on Goodreads too :)


  4. 1. I liked Yes Please! Mindy Kaling's memoir is hilarious, though, have you read that? I would also recommend the audiobook for that one, so good. Actually, you drive a lot since, so you should listen to audiobooks in the car all the time, especially the free ones you can get from the library ebook app - that's how I listened to the entire Sookie Stackhouse series (not embarrassed). Listen to the Song of Ice & Fire on audiobook, but you'd have to pay attention.

    2. Did you end up reading Gone Girl? Because I loved that book. However, don't go crazy and read the author's first two novels because they are not nearly as good (in my opinion..).

    3. Feel free to come borrow any of my books, especially Beautiful Ruins, which I just finished a couple weeks and really enjoyed.