The weekend of Halloween 2015 was a scary one. In this case, it had nothing to do with the scariness of the people we invited over on Saturday for a Halloween dinner party – the true scariness was due to a discovery I made on Saturday morning. While scrolling down my Goodreads update feed and reading about all the books my friends have been reading, I came to think about the books I have been reading since the beginning of the year. I took a look at the progress of my reading challenge for 2015, and my heart skipped a beat.
So far, I have read 28 books in 2015. I had challenged myself to read 52 books this year, which is one book a week. To complete this challenge, I still have to read 24 books in roughly 10 weeks. I need to read 2,4 books a week to succeed.
This may sound like complete madness, but I instantly knew that I wanted to try to complete the challenge. I may be setting myself up for failure (yes) and I may be even more disappointed if I try and fail at the end of this year (yes, for sure), but this isn’t really about reading a certain amount of books. This is about reading itself.
For years I have been frustrated with the fact that I don’t read as much as I used to. As a kid, I read everything all of the time. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t reading, and once I even read 30 books during my summer holiday. Of course, back then I had nothing else to do and there wasn’t something like The Internet. Even when we did get a computer in the year 2000, I wasn’t aloud to spend more than half an hour a day playing games at the Barbie website, so there was just a ton of time I could spend reading. Yes, reading a lot was easier then. I didn’t have to work or cook or take care of guinea pigs/boyfriend/myself, which I have to do now. This doesn’t change the fact however, that I think I made more use of my time when I was younger. Now when I come home from work, I make dinner and some tea and lie down on the sofa to watch TV all night. And no, I’m not even watching the stuff I want to see. I’m watching Say Yes to the Dress, Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden, the news and weather forecast. I don’t really need or want to watch those programs. I want to watch some great TV-series. I want to educate myself by watching an interesting documentary and I want to watch Doctor Who so my boyfriend will one day think I’m geeky enough for him to marry, or read a good book. Instead, I watch ‘convenient’ TV – I only have to switch it on and watch zombie-style.
I don’t want to do this anymore and I also think I have found my medicine: read, instead of watch TV. Or, watch good TV. I think I owe it to myself to just cut the crap and do what I really want. I am going to do the bold thing here and challenge myself to, well, complete the challenge. I know I’m not going to succeed, because I also want to do other nice stuff like cuddling the guinea pigs and the boyfriend and yes, I also have to make some money, but that’s OK: every minute I spend reading, is a minute well spent.