Monday, January 13, 2014

14 Books in 2014

So, I've seen lots of people signing up for all kinds of challenges since the new year is upon us. Most of them have to do with fitness but not all.  One friend I have has christened this the year she will make more art.  That's a good one.  Other friends are trying to lose x amount of pounds or walk x amount of miles or run their first 5K.  Also admirable.  It got me to thinking.  Then I saw a few days ago:

Makes me think of a song lyric, "64 percent of all statistics are made up right there on the spot."
But seriously, that's a little scary.  And my challenge clicked into place in my mind.

I am a reader, but I will admit, I've slacked off in the last few years. Between a full time job and my family, I don't have the time for it that I used to.  Pinterest, blog reading, and other internet carousing have snuck into my limited free time as well.  I know, I know.  That can be counted as reading too.  But it's not the same as reading a book.  Most of my book reading gets done in the summer unless something comes out that I just can't wait to read and for which I am willing to sacrifice sleep.(Doctor Sleep, I am looking in your general direction.) This year I want to change that. 

My challenge is going to be to keep a list and see how long it takes me to read 14 books this year.  I picked 14 because it's 2014.  Get it?  You know you love a good gimmick.  I have never kept track of how many books I have read in a year.  The number was never really important to me.  Plus I was a repeat reader of numerous books in adolescence and young adulthood and even now sometimes in not-so-young adulthood.  I don't know if it counts if I read The Outsiders or To Kill a Mockingbird five or six times in a year. I don't really care. However, 2014 will be different.  This means no repeats (or at least if I do repeat, they don't count towards my 14) and keep a list of each book I've read this year.  I'm sure I've read more than 14 in some years of my life (I was an English major until I was a senior in college for crying out loud), but I'm wondering how long it will take me to get to this number now that I'm a little strapped for free time.  I'm also wondering how far past this number I can get.  Ah, now there's an interesting notion.

I'd like to warmly invite you to accompany me in this challenge.  I'll set up a Facebook Group and ask you to join.  If you're reading this and we're not Facebook friends but want to join, just like my blog on Facebook.  I even have a button for you to click on for this!  No need to race, no prize for first place.  Just post the title of the book you're reading or have finished and what number it is for you.  Tell us if you enjoyed what you read, if you feel like it.   Let us all know when you get to 14.  Let us know when you keep going how high your number is.  Just make the time to read, damn it!  Use that library card or Kindle!  Maybe it'll be a good place to get suggestions if you see what others are reading.  Maybe it will lead you out of your normal literary fare.  No judgments.  Read what you want.  Read what you enjoy.  I can honestly say that when I look back at my taste in my teens, I learned something from just about every book I ever read, no matter how decadent or frivolous. 

Okay, so I'm excited.  #1 for me this year is Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond, courtesy of my local library. Loved it.  It was a very enjoyable read and a better love story than I've read in some time.   And I learned stuff about horses and ranches.  Bonus!  I've already started #2, What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (Again, thank you public libraries!)  What will be your #1 in 2014?  I need to stop writing this and get back to reading.  Good-bye.



  1. I love to read and my so loves books too, it's definitely sad about the above stats. I love your 14 book challenge.

  2. I don't keep track of the books I've read, although I think it would be nice to have a running list. I can't believe those stats! I am such a book worm it's hard to understand how people don't read more! That's a great challenge for you, good luck! Finding time to read is important!