Reading has always felt like an emotional biography. Whether I am reading a mirror-to-my-life sort of book, a serious preaching to the choir book or a cotton-candy sweet and fluffy book, all of them reflect my emotional state at any given point. My reading habits, if studiously mapped out, would reflect the ebbs and flows of my life. While, generally, I prefer books that engage my mind to the point of debates the presence of light hearted fluffy books indicate a need to disengage and escape from overthinking. My 2015 reading has become one of the most erratic reading years I had to make, while my goodreads account would probably tell you I have read less than 60, in fact I have read more which I am too lazy to track even on an app.
I decided to disengage a lot in the middle of the year. I filled the in-between with my newly-discovered appreciation of historical romance and with light-headed YA literature that tackle LGBTQ relationships, disabilities and mental illness. There was no need for re-orientation of my brain to understand complex sentences and settings. The books that filled the disengaged part of the year were filled with easily understandable sentences, with experiences that while familiar did not dig too deep into my psyche and were ultimately entertaining. It’s like binging on a gallon of ice cream. I went through a whole lot of these lighter reading materials without knowing I did.
Then, I woke up out of my disengaged-coma and found myself thirsty for engagement. It was Merton that sort of truly shook me from my coma. Maybe it was my own spiritual journey that propelled me to read his books and eventually Nouwen. However, as I write this post, I feel that I am re-entering an almost inability to stick to one book phase, my mind scattered in both its need to be entertained and its need to learn. I am hungry for cognitive nourishment and the need to compensate for my disengaged state has left me grabbing at books with so much impulsivity that I am confusing myself.
It is the reading challenge that I joined that suffers that most from my erratic reading (or would it be more apt to say my depressive reading as it seems to follow the flows of my mood). My mind, unwillingly to be constrained by the definitions presented by Book Riot’s Reading Challenge has become less concerned of meeting the challenge as to giving in to my fancies. One can say, my reading personality has been in odds with itself. On one hand, I am goal-oriented and in dire need to finish the challenge, while on the other I would rather follow my craving. As a result, a sort of compromise has been met. I have made some (very little) progress in an almost hit-or-miss sort of way with my reading challenge. I had discovered that some of my whims have met my goals.
Since my last post on the reading challenge, I still had to complete 10 of the 24 tasks. Below listed are the 10 and I have been able to accomplish 2 out of the 10, leaving me with 8 more to go. Let’s cross our fingers.
- A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
- A book written by someone when they were over 65
- A collection of short stories
- A book published by an indie press – Local Graphic Novels (Mark 9 verse 47, Sumpa and Strange Natives) from indie publisher Meganon Comics
- A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
- A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture
- A Microhistory – Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage (This took a back seat for a while, I’m picking this up again)
- A sci-fi novel
- A national book award, man booker prize or Pulitzer prize winner from the last decade
- A book published before 1850
There are reviews, insights waiting to be expounded on. Little notes, little tabs and even pictures sitting in the inner sanctuaries of my computer are waiting to see the light of day. It is unfortunate that the discipline to write, to expound and to do justice to the books I read have taken a back seat. So for now, please excuse this post and its ramblings.