Those of you who have been here a while know that I’m a bit of a book-a-holic. I read books as often as I breathe the free air, which is always, in case you wondered.
While this addiction has not always had the full support of my bank account, or my poor bag, which has spent many an outing weighed down by bricks disguised cleverly as novels cough-Wheel of Time-cough, I have always considered it an obsession worthy of the pursuit.
Reading improves analytical thinking, increases vocabulary, encourages creativity, and my all-time favourite, takes you to other worlds where you not only fight wars, win battles and have wild adventures from the comfort of your favourite armchair, but where you can also relax and be distracted from the real world chaos that you sometimes just need to escape.
Yep, reading is pretty groovy, kids.
That’s why this year I’m supporting the 2012 National Year of Reading. While it may be an Australian run initiative, I don’t see why the rest of the world can’t join in.
So, what’s it all about? I hear you ask…
The National Year of Reading 2012 is about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It’s about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It’s about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books.
There are loads of events taking place throughout the year to promote this noble endeavour, but I’ve decided to set myself a reading challenge, which I hope you’ll participate in with me.
As an already active reader, I thought I’d up the ante and set myself a reading target. I’m a fairly fast reader if I have days to spare and nothing else to do (though that rarely stops me), but as most of you will probably understand, life often gets in the way of finding a bit of quiet time to sit down and get lost in other worlds. Cooking, cleaning, work, studies, friends, sleep: they’re all pretty good excuses, but if we put our minds to it, I think we can do better.
Last year I read just over 30 books, so this year I’ve set myself the goal of 52. One a week for the whole year. Some people will scoff at the number and say “that’s nothing!” Others will say, “don’t be ridiculous, that’s impossible.” What’s important is you pick a number that suits you, but also challenges you. A number that makes you turn off the television and pick up a book instead. A number that has you listening to Stephen Fry reading you Harry Potter in the car on the way to work. A number that will make you read more, but which is also realistically achievable.
It may be 10, it may be 100.
I’ve set up a page to record my progress, which you’ll see a link to at the top of each page, titled “2012 National Year of Reading“.
Goodreads is also on board. If you go to their 2012 Challenge Goal page, you can enter in how many books you’d like to read by the end of the year. Every time you finish one and enter it into Goodreads, your widget will update and tell you whether you’re on target or how many books behind you are. I’m currently 2 books behind, thanks to George RR Martin’s whopper of a series!
You can also see how many participants there are (currently 201,744) and how many books have been pledged (12,164,418!!).
So get involved, readers! Let’s make 2012 the year we exercise our brains, get smarter, get creative and support reading worldwide. And don’t forget to keep me updated on your progress. I want to hear all about your reading endeavours.
P.S. If you’re looking for inspiration, The Book Depository is currently offering 10% off everything, with free delivery worldwide.