I was never cool.
As soon as I could read I became a word nerd who enjoyed slipping into the world of words. The endless combinations of words and the stories they produced brought me comfort. Sure, I could converse with people but the truth is I always preferred the wonderment of books. I spent most of my childhood with a flashlight ready so I could read late into the night long after the lights were out. A librarian wanted to promote reading so they offered to dedicate a book to you for every 10 that you read. By the time I was 9 I had more than 12 dedicated to me–at just that library. One weekend instead of practicing for cheerleader tryouts I was engrossed with biographies on Martin Luther King, Pocahontas and Sacajewa. When it came to the tryout I did a halfhearted cheer — and went back to reading my book. Of course I didn't make the squad, though I was on the journalism staff throughout high school.
The Part Where I Lose My Love
In college I took every english class available in hopes that I could turn my obsession into a profession. Sadly, my obsession stayed a hobby.When I left the world of higher learning my reading continued but at a far slower pace. Books were soon replaced with the endless blare of the TV at night, a vain attempt at cloaking the days events with mindless blather. I discovered that literally and metaphorically I couldn't read by the tv light. And so my books became dusty artifacts of a former love. My reading became more limited to articles and blog posts. When I read books they were nearly all non-fiction–anything that could be consumed quickly and turned into knowledge for my burgeoning professional life.
The Return of Reading & A Big Challenge
A few years ago I found my way back to my beloved. Though my book binges weren't anywhere near my previous state, it felt good to be cradled inside stories again. I wondered how I could plot a more frequent presence of books in my life. My inspiration was Andrew Hyde and Tara Anderson Cahliman who had both recently finished reading 52 books in a year. For 6 months I tried to screw up the courage to attempt to read 52 books in 52 weeks. A book a week when I was barely reading one a month? (gulp) What if I failed? What would it mean for my love of books if I didn't make it? Worry danced in my head like flame on a campfire. One day I just decided that I could do it. Or at least, I could try.
Why read 52 books in a year?
- Open myself to new ideas different cultures
- It was time to pry myself away from the tv
- To rediscover my former love affair with words
- Reading good writing makes you a better writer
- My intuition kept egging me on
- To see if I could do it
The biggest reason I did it was to challenge myself to do something that mattered to me even if it didn't have a direct impact on my business.
So, I did it. I actually read 52 books in a year.
Now that you know why I did it, in my next post I'll tell you how I did it and how you can too. (You know you wanna…and I know you can.)