I don’t like book challenges because my reading tastes are too eclectic to stick to one genre, but I had hoped that by joining the 100 Books Challenge (no specific requirements outside of the number of books) I would increase my reading in 2008. It didn’t happen. I actually read 54 books this year which fits the goal I set for myself 20 years ago of one-book-per-week.
I had hoped to increase my book intake this year, especially with audiobooks. (I raved about them in my “Best of 2007” blog), but several things happened to change that goal. First, I found that audiobooks are good, but never quite as satisfying as reading an actual book. Second, we moved and all the transitions to the new city TOOK TIME and made fitting in extra reading time a real challenge. And third, I discovered that I don’t like speeding through books to meet a goal or deadline. I want my “reading life” to be challenging, but not a chore. And rushing through a book is like watching scenery race by through a car window. I prefer to savor the view. Here are my thoughts on the books I read this year:
Book that required the most effort but gave the most pleasure: Middemarch by George Eliot.
Book that gave the most pleasure with the least amount of effort: Mrs ‘Arris Goes to Paris
Best audiobooks: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (through Librivox) and China Court read by Julie at Forgotten Classics
Most inspirational: Renew my Heart by John Wesley and Imitation of Christ by á Kempis
Biggest surprises (books I did not expect to like so much) Much Ado about Nothing by Shakespeare, Hard Times by Dickens, and Elijah of Buxton
Most comforting (excluding the Bible): Jane Eyre