|"Disgusted with life, she withdrew|
to the society of books"
-- Rosina Emmett Sherwood
One of the advantages of this new chapter of life is that I have more leisure time. Other than a full-time job, my time is pretty much my own. There are household chores, lawn and garden chores, and a few other responsibilities, but a lot fewer than there used to be. More time for "fun".
A few days ago I posted about the various creative methods I'm trying and how much I'm enjoying the freedom to explore and experiment. However, this new love of creativity is pulling me away from an old love - books. I have been an avid reader since I learned the ABC's. Reading has always been my first choice of leisure activities - until recently. I have read fewer books in 2014 than in any year since 1966.
Besides curling up in a comfy chair to "withdraw to the society of books", there are several bookish activities that add to my reading enjoyment:
Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon - This amazing event is held every April and October and I look forward to it and plan for it way in advance. There are hourly prize drawings, challenges, Twitter conversations and lots of blogs to visit. It can be a challenge to actually get any reading done, but the social aspect is at least half the fun. Next Readathon is Oct. 18 - go here to sign up.
Goodreads - I love Goodreads! For those who aren't familiar, Goodreads is a web site where you can fill virtual bookshelves with the books you have read, are currently reading or hope to read. Especially for women in their "second half", It's a great way to remember what you've already read and even what you thought of it. The mobile version is an easy way to keep your TBR (to be read) list handy when going to the library or book store, and you can find out what your friends are reading, read their reviews, see what's trending and visit with authors. If you are on Goodreads, look me up and become my friend.
T and T Book Club - The book club my sister and I started more than 15 years ago has come and gone and been resurrected in new form several times. We alternate months to pick a book for both of us to read and create an "assignment" to go along with the book - like write a review on your blog, make a recipe inspired by the book, do a craft project or visit a site referred to in the book. Teri and I have vastly different reading interests, so it can be a challenge to select a book, but it's good for both of us to stretch ourselves.
There are also bookish ideas that haven't been as successful:
Challenges - I flunk challenges! I have tried several in the past and pledged to never sign up again. But then I cave in and try again . . . and still don't finish them. This year I signed up to fill out a Bingo card by reading various categories of mysteries. So far I have one square filled. The idea sound fun in theory, but the reality is not for disorganized, scattered women like me. Renewed vow to never sign up for one again.
Blog Reviews - Five years ago, this was strictly a book blog and I tried to write lengthy, witty summations of everything I read. But I got over myself. No on really cares about my opinion - no matter how witty - on every book I read. So now I only write full reviews for books I love. It's the blog equivalent of calling a friend and saying "You HAVE to read this!" All other books get a 2-line "mini review" or no mention at all. I think we're all happier. :)
Looking for more time to read brings me back to this post about "wise use of time" , in which I said I was going to put the phone down, get away from Pinterest and Facebook . . . uh, yeah - not doing so well there. But I'm making a renewed commitment - put down the phone and pick up a book.