May 18, 2011

On reading...

A few of you ladies have been following my list of books I've read this year and have asked some questions. Those questions prompted me to think about what I've learned through what I've read this year, and it just seemed timely to write a post now that we're almost halfway through the year.

When I started Booklist 2011, I had several goals in mind. First, I wanted a way to record what I was reading in order to evaluate the balance in my reading. Second, I wanted to keep track of books I've read that I might want to revisit or recommend. Third, I thought some of you avid readers might enjoy seeing the list as you think through your own reading.

The list has been helpful in evaluating my first goal -- and in broadening my reading. So far this year, I've learned about Hudson Taylor, biblical womanhood, the futility of modern philosophical ethics, the Greatest Generation, Islamic terrorism in Darfur, and how to distress documents. I've visited Prince Edward Island, England, Ohio, Palestine, Israel, New England, and numerous high profile sporting events. I've even read the best first or last sentences of many classic pieces of literature. All without leaving my home.

At this point, I don't have a great master plan. We have many, many books here in our home -- fiction, non-fiction, classics, Christian -- and I sometimes choose something of interest from these. We also have a good library, and I always browse the new non-fiction book area first to see if anything strikes my fancy. This has done a lot to broaden my horizons. The library also has an interesting themed book display each month that I look at. I'm currently involved in two different business efforts, and sometimes this drives my search. I always take a look at my kids' books to see if anything interests me there -- or needs to be previewed.

I've loved having the list to keep track of the books, as well. I'm the worst at remembering titles and authors -- I sometimes forget I've even read a book (especially Agatha Christie mysteries, which tend to be pubished under multiple titles). One of the books I recently completed included letters written during the Great Depression. I'll want my daughter to read at least part of this book when she studies that time period in a couple of years, so I'm glad I'll have my list to refer to.

Several of you have let me know that you've enjoyed following my list, so my third goal was accomplished -- with the bonus that you've also shared what you're reading with me! I'd love to have more discussion like that, so keep it coming!

And happy reading!

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