Reading Goal: 50 Books

I got the idea from writer and teacher Deborah Chester, who wrote last year of her goal to read 100 books. Well, let me not set a goal I know at the outset I can’t reach, so I’m scaling down to read 50 books in 2017.

I’ve never done this before. I’m excited. That’s a lovely thing, excitement. It is fuel for living life, helps you take tall buildings in a single bound, and is evidence I’m onto a good and nurturing thing. The Dr. Seuss phrase pops to mind: “Oh, the places you will go!”

I have begun with Fannie Flagg’s latest—The Whole Town’s Talking, and already enjoying it. With the idea of a reading goal, I’m happily making a list of books I want to explore. I feel a certain daring to widen myself, excitement of the places I’ll go, some old favorites, and old classics that I have not before attempted, as well as current books. Days scheduled to wander the library and bookstore entice me!

But no reading anything that does not grab and hold my attention. I recall someone once telling me about a book, “About a hundred pages into it, it gets good.” Well, no, ma’am, that does not suit me. My time and energy are far too valuable to wade through a hundred dragging pages.

It is important to note that what bores one person may not bore another, so we don’t have to feel critical when judging that the story doesn’t touch us. (Nor do we writers have to experience a stab to the heart.) The book simply isn’t for us at that particular time. I’ve found that at points in my life I’ve not been able to read a book, and I go along a few years, pull the same book off the shelf and get instantly absorbed. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry was one of those.

Would anyone like to join me in a reading goal? I shall report here from time to time, to keep myself encouraged. Let’s share the news of good books.