Saturday, March 15, 2014

the reading life

While I might not have been reading before starting school, my mother was a co-conspirator in my eagerness to learn. A January birthday, coupled with no public kindergarten where we lived meant I didn't start school until I was going on 7 years old. A home-schooler at heart if ever there was one, Mom taught me to write my name so I could obtain my own library card. Fostering a love of reading is, perhaps, one of the best gifts a parent give. And how my mother loved reading.

Over the past year I was an absolute slouch in my reading. My reading log makes it plain: just five books read in 2013. I read eight in 2012, including the Bible (88 books there). I'll cut myself a little slack: last year held some life challenges that seemed to throw me off. After Bill's surgery in April and through my dad's decline, I somehow couldn't stick with any book. Month after month this went on.

One year after we met, my bibliophile husband suggested I start a reading log. Since the summer of 1975 I've kept a log of every book read.

The log is a revealing look back at various life seasons. It hints at God wooing me, long before I decided to get to know Him. It speaks of my desperation to navigate motherhood (Your Two Year Old and The Strong-Willed Child), as I'd lost my mother before I became one. It also shows my human inability to do much more than care for four babies and toddlers: some years I read very few books.

Beside each title I noted the author, date read, and usually a one-sentence synopsis and whether or not I liked it. ("Fabulous!" "V. Good" "Fascinating") My log doesn't include the many books I started but never finished: since I'm past the age of book reports, I only finish a book if I enjoy or am somehow compelled to see it to the end. A few have been read twice, such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot.

I'm not much for fiction. This has been a lifelong preference: I remember heading for the biography shelves in my elementary school library! To me the life stories of real people hold deeper fascination than any fictional character.

And so I'm nearly 39 years into my log. The toddlers are grown and gone. I work a part-time job, but still have enough time to read. So this year my goal is one book per month. Right now (see previous post), I'm finishing books #2 and 3. On target!

It's good to be "home" with books again. What are you reading? Do you have a reading goal?

1 comment:

Jenny Haller said...

You gifted me a book log book. Maybe even before I married dan?! I love it. I'm doing 30 this year.