What happens when a book an acquaintance lauds as the best book ever contains a plethora of racism? Awkward right?
Suggested, favored books can reveal things about the reader, perhaps things they didn’t want you to know they held interest. In the past, knowing this, sometimes made me a little self-conscience about the things I list as “read” on Goodreads. I often thought about leaving a note in the comments section,”Guys I’m reading all these children’s books for work, not because I lack or am too lazy to engage higher level thinking.” Over time, thank you life matriculation, I have thought less about the ratings and the content of my lists of books (read and want to read) and whether they would offend browsers until someone whom I have known casually, but considered to be quite ethically evolved, placed a book in my hands and said,”You have got to read this, it’s was so amazing. I loved every single thing about it.”
I read it. I thought about it, really took time to examine my thoughts. I even measured my analysis against the Internet’s popular opinion and concluded that I did not hate this book but I sure as heck did not love it. It has so many problems regarding race, feminism and other polemical ideals. I was later asked what I thought about the book and I told her briefly that it was not my “cup of tea” but thought it had an interesting plot.
I was honest but I still walked away empty. I could tell by the energy between us that there was no space to unravel and discuss the issues that had led to my discontent. I felt that the openness just wasn’t there and that made me sad and defenseless. I do not want to reveal the title of the book because I do not wish to defend my position or argue about my feelings.
Maybe I went into reading the story with too many preconceptions, maybe she didn’t even notice the issues because she was so taken by the plot. Perhaps I saw problems that were uniquely part of my journey not hers. I decided not to judge my book buddy for her suggestion… at least until we have a conversation.
What about you, have you had a similar thing happen to you?
Last year I set a reading goal of 30 books for 2013. I am pleased to say that I achieved my goal of 30 before the end of the year and decided to raise it to 40! I was a bit nervous about attaining my new goal, felt I was being over zealous, but guess what, I did it!!!
I tracked my progress on Goodreads.com. Feel free to click the link on my home page to have a look at my list of read books. I am also proud of myself because I actually followed through with my New Year’s resolution and stayed true to my love for books for a whole year!
This year I have decided not to raise but to lower the number of books I’d like to read so that I can read without pressure. I want to continue to enjoy books without the guilt of not reaching my monthly quota. I also want to indulge in books without considering their length. Maybe I’ll read more “mammoths” this year.
My goal is to read more leisurely and diversely. With this in mind, I’ve decided to set my goal at an achievable 25 books this year. Since I’m a member of a book club, that should knock out 12 and I buddy read with friends, which takes care of more obligatory reading leaving me with the opportunity to read more of what I want without constraints. The way I see it, this will be a more exciting reading year.
***What are your plans for reading next year? Do you set reading goals? If so, how do you go about setting your goals?
We can all agree on one thing; there are just so many great books out there and not enough time to read them. Here are a few ways I determine what I will read next.
- Mood: I often allow my emotions to determine what book I will read next. After a heavy literary read I might reach for a light and fluffy Contemporary Fiction novel. If I’ve had a really light week, I might reach for a book that will give me a good cry (Between Shades of Grey not to be confused with the saucy erotica novel Fifty Shades of Grey).
- TBR (To Be Read) List: I have a habit of buying lots of books when I can catch a sale, some I read right away while others get more shelf time. Sometimes I join a challenge on Goodreads (a website for book junkies) to help lessen my number of TBR books. For example, the challenge may require me to read a book with a yellow cover, read a book that’s been on my shelf the longest and read a book with the least number of pages.
- Book club commitments: I’m a member of a book club that meets once a month to discuss a book. I usually read the book designated for the month immediately so I can focus on other books.
How do you choose what you will read next?