There is no shame in anyone’s reading game. I wholeheartedly believe that.
The other day I was at a coffee shop with a dear gym friend who found herself introducing me to a couple of her book clubs friends who unexpectedly showed up and she struggled to describe the type of books I read. I finally gave her a break and simply said, “I’m a bit of a literary snob and I read a lot of books no one has ever heard of.”
As I said it and then these women and I continued into a fun, lighthearted and honest exchange about books and life I realized that too often, no matter how much, or little we read, or what we read we find ourselves judging it.
I know I do…
My self critic comes out in all sorts of ways in my reading game. It’s one of the reason I set an annual mandatory “avid reader” book count. It’s one of the reason I am only purchasing books by author’s of color this year and truth be told, our self critics are in large part, why Haddi and I even have a book blog. Lastly, my own internal critic is why I have been in a #mood about reading lately.
I was determined to finish Nelson Mandela’s A Long Walk to Freedom and it is perhaps the longest book I have ever actually finished and I don’t regret the 27 hours and 39 minutes it took to finish that long, long walk, but it also set me in a #mood about reading. It was hard and took a lot of energy, time and self-reflection to get through. A lot of determination from me. It, alongside Christ in Evolution by Ilia Delio made for some tough weeks of picking up the book and just doing the work of reading and letting these authors work on my heart, mind and soul.
Then came my annual October staycation. I had finished both the books the week prior and as I was wasting time in Boone’s Wal-Mart, I of course decided to browse the book section…to be clear, I browse it absolutely everywhere. There, I ran across the book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. There is a new Netflix movie of the same name that came out a couple months ago and I am not ashamed to say I have watched it three or four times already.
So in my longing to read something a little lighter, fun and easy, I picked it up and I was not disappointed and for those wondering it is written by a woman of color so totally fair game. In that moment and for the two days it took me to read, I was able to let go of my literary self-critic and just enjoy a book, the characters who breathed new life into tired archetypes and a story line that dealt with the complexity of family and high school.
And now, I find myself TIED (at 57 books) with Haddi in this Battle 2018….so…
I have come to a tough decision. From now until the new year, I am going to read fiction. I am going to let go of my inner need to challenge myself and read books that I can’t wait to pick up and struggle to put down because I really do have to get some sleep. Most likely they will still be fiction off the beaten path as well, but if I stand a chance of beating Haddi, who is juggling four classes, I have to overcome my #mood, my inner critic and fall in love with books again. So, no shame in this reading game as I chose fiction from here on out.
The end is near….
Its time to hunker down and adore every book I’m reading.
Happy Reading Everyone!