Started: 16th January 2017
Completed: 16th January 2018
Let’s face it, this was a hate-hate relationship from the start; me and fiction books, that is. I know many people find it relaxing and a good way to unwind before bed, but snuggling down with a ‘good book’ is now confirmed as quite frankly not what I enjoy at all. I honestly just find it boring! Or maybe it’s that generally I feel like I could be doing many other things instead of ‘wasting time’ sitting still for half an hour. I completely get that it isn’t wasting time if that is what you find restful, but I just don’t. I wouldn’t go so far to say as I find it stressful, more just my brain is still thinking about a hundred other things and I’m distracted incredibly quickly and need to write a list of things I’ve remembered to do. It takes a lot of concentration for me to focus and take in what I’m reading; I can read the same page three times and still not have a clue what I’ve read! In discussion with a friend about this a few days ago, I realised where many people chill out and read before going to sleep, I go from busy brain to collapsing into bed and falling asleep in seconds. Maybe I have this all wrong, maybe it’s just how I work, but reading for pleasure is not on my list of hobbies. On the other hand, non-fiction often biographical books are much more engaging and I enjoy reading about true stories. Call it being a ‘people person’ or call it nosey but I find people fascinating so anything which helps me understand someone is great.
Reading six books was the first blog I wrote about any of the challenges, exactly a year ago. I started by saying I knew it would be a big challenge, and to be honest it’s been the hardest of them all. This is for a few reasons…1) I had to do it on my own; I couldn’t arrange to meet up with someone else and get it done in one hit 2) It was a continuous thing that would need lots of short bursts, it wouldn’t be a big tick straight away 3) It wasn’t/isn’t a natural tendency to think of doing some reading when I had a spare few minutes. I have carried at least one of the books with me pretty much everywhere I’ve been all year and even then I haven’t done it. I genuinely don’t think to read in my spare time. (Please tell me there is someone else out there who doesn’t either? I feel like I’m the only one!)
So from the original list of six books in the post, I’ve finished reading one; Peter Pan. I feel like this in itself deserves a big clap, well done me. It probably took me as long to respond it as most other people reading all six, but there we go. I have also actually read another book called ‘God’s Smuggler’ which is the incredible story of Brother Andrew and his adventures smuggling Bibles into countries where they were banned. An amazing story, which I loved reading. I know this goes entirely against what I’ve said about reading so far, but it’s autobiographical so I knew I’d find it easier to read. It also helped that I was on a retreat whilst reading it so had the time to use.
Being a perfectionist, I feel like in trying to read six books this year and failing, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything as well as I would like to. It may be that I’m not capable of doing it, or it may be I don’t have the capacity/time, and on this occasion I think it was a combination of the two. Maybe just maybe I didn’t have the willpower to sit down quietly for long enough to read. As I discussed with some children at school last week, sometimes we just aren’t good at things, but we will be good at other things, so that’s ok; we can’t all be good at everything!
I’m not resigning this to complete failure – I did read two books! It’s an experience to learn from though…maybe I’ll stick to audio books? It’s not that I didn’t start the challenge, it’s just I didn’t finish it how it was planned. In maths, 0.5 is rounded up to 1, so I’m going to round this half finished challenge up too 😉
To see the full list of 30 things I’m doing, you can see the original post here.