Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reading lo....

by Elizabeth

Around this time last year, I blogged about my reading for the twelve months previous. I'd started a reading log in 2008, but it fell apart pretty early. I vowed to do better in 2009, and I did. It was great to be able to go back and revisit what I'd read all year, and as the calendar turned to 2010, I was hopeful to repeat the feat.

For the first three quarters of the year, I did well with it. Oh, there were some books this summer I had to play catch-up with, adding the synopses maybe even weeks after I read the book, and probably a couple-three I left off altogether. But overall I was pleased with my log, and had even added a bonus feature, all new for 2010: number of pages. As with my older logs, going back and reading the notes I took on each book is a bit like reading the book again. It comes back to me, the details, even the emotion. Well, most of the time. A few books have the label "forgot almost immediately," and the lack of memorability stuck. Those fresh impressions are good, I'm telling you.

But then October struck. Normally, October is a crazy-busy month for me; that and May, I like to say, are the mother's worst months. But this year, October really came in like a lamb. I couldn't believe how non-stressed I was. I couldn't believe how smoothly things were going, how not-difficult life was. But then, bam. The lion arrived, and I'm not sure I've had the chance to stop moving ever since.

I have one book recorded for October, and that one is a children's book. Nothing for November, nada for December. The good news is that it's not that I haven't read at all--I've probably polished off four or five novels in the last month and a half. Not my usual reading rate, true, but not nothing. Yet I haven't managed to record a single one of them, not even the tomes that will stick with me. And number of pages read? Lost.

I'm not making a resolution about logging my books for next year. I didn't make one for 2010; rather, it was something I decided to do. I had good reasons (excuses?) for it falling apart as Halloween approached, and while I regret the lost information, I can't say that I made a real mistake in letting it go. Life intervened, and my attention was required elsewhere. I'm just glad I still had a chance to read at all. Not much, but some, including finally finishing up the book on CD I'd been toting in my car since the summer.

Which doesn't mean I won't log my reading come 2011. As a matter of fact, I likely will, and I hope to do better even in the busiest times, keeping up with what I've read. I'd also really like to see how many pages I read in the year. My raw tally (I'm still strapped for time, so I did a rough count instead of breaking out the calculator, or worse, taxing my brain with addition) adds up to some twenty-thousand-plus pages in about sixty books this year before I fell off the logging wagon. Which is probably more than last year, but it's not about last year. It's not about competing, not with anyone else, certainly, but not even with myself.

It's about reading. And remembering. And as my life has geared up, gotten even busier, that's what I'll keep, if not the logging. The reading. And the writing, which is what the busyness is really all about, even if it seems oblique at best to everyone else. Reading, writing, logging if I can. Hello next year.

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