Sunday, January 27, 2008

50 Books in 2008

Ok, so I'm a little late getting to New Year's resolutions. I don't like making them, because I don't like setting myself up to fail. Most times, I get ideas in my head, but don't write them down or get them clear, and just try to slowly weave them into my life as I would at any other time of year.

One of my "ideas" this year was to become more a part of my church community. So far, so good. I came back from my trip feeling much more at home there.

Then I have the usual "work out and eat better" thoughts, although I'm trying to extend those to reducing the number of processed foods I eat. At the moment, that's on the back burner until the kitchen on our floor is finished being remodeled.

I didn't really have anything else in mind, until this past week. My brother-in-law had resolved to read a certain number of books this year, having almost met last years' goal. I thought that was a pretty good resolution. Me being practically born with a book in my hand, I'm always glad when someone else tries to increase their contact with the written word, but didn't think a resolution like that was really necessary for me.

But then I read a novel (The Other Boleyn Girl, if you're curious). Though I was slow starting it, once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I was reading a page here, a page there, at every moment I could steal. It's not that I don't read much--hello, I'm in seminary for goodness' sake. But I don't often make time to read for pleasure, to read just for the simple joy of being caught up in a well-crafted story.

Then this week I was on Facebook, catching up on the myriad of groups to which I belong, when I popped in to look at the discussion board for the group "Reading is Sexy." A fabulous group for the nerdy, bibliophile types like me (whose membership is over 44,000). The discussion title "50 Book Challenge" caught my eye. The original posts were from April of last year, but the idea is that from the day you start, you have 365 days to read 50 books.

The combination of a good challenge (which is difficult for me to pass up) plus my newly rekindled passion for reading led to me posting and taking the challenge. I decided that I would just use 2008, though we're already part way into it, and count the 2 books I finished before I took the challenge. I also gave myself the concession that I can count homework and "professional development" books as well--something that may help me get through the 29 books related to ministry I've checked out from the library because they looked interesting.

So, 27 days into it, I've read 4 books. Not a bad start, I'd say. My first considerations for a Lenten practice may help me along as well, but I'll get to that in a later post. And hey, I have a little advantage taking this challenge in 2008: it's a leap year, so I have an extra day to read!

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