“The World Was Hers For the Reading.”

22 Apr

The title of this post is a quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It’s hanging on the wall of my cubicle and I keep looking at it recently, thinking about my quest for this Year of Reading Deliberately. I set quite a few goals, some of which have been more successfully reached than others. I also saw that I’ve fallen woefully behind my goal of reading 60 books this year on Goodreads:

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Rachel has read 9 books toward her goal of 60 books.

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What that little widget doesn’t tell you is that I’m 15% behind, and that to make my goal, I should be up to 18 books at this point in the year. I also am behind on the Once Upon a Time Challenge (one book of five read) and I have only read one classic this year. I’ve got a stack of review copies that I’m trying to get to as well, and oh did I mention that I decided to start the Master’s degree I deferred last fall. I’m feeling, shall we say, overwhelmed by all the commitments I’ve made and the fact that I’ve spent too much time recently watching episodes of Bones on Netflix Instant, instead of reading. Actually being so overwhelmed is probably why I’m watching Bones instead.

Anyway I digress.

I’m going to try to re-focus this weekend and next week, as we move into May and real, actual spring weather, my favorite for reading outside (thanks to my seriously awesome allergy meds). I hate to read just to cross things off a list, but I’ve got a few things on my TBR shelves that will help me feel at least a little more caught up. I also got into an interesting discussion about post-modern fiction on Greg’s blog, The New Dork Review of Books, and on Twitter since I’ve mostly dismissed the genre completely, based on several examples I read in college and loathed each and every one. Ben gave me some recommendations so I can try it again, including The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Both of which I already own (shocker). I’d like to pick up at least one of these in the near future, so I can hopefully become a little more educated and challenged. This weekend, aside from some Easter celebrations with the fam, I will go through my bookshelves and make an attempt at playing catch up, scratching things off lists, and broaden my horizons a little bit more. And I’ll be taking Betty Smith’s quote more as advice: the world is mine for the reading, after all.

Are you feeling the need to do some spring cleaning of your goals for the year, just as I am? Refocusing or changing them completely?

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6 Responses to ““The World Was Hers For the Reading.””

  1. Meg @ A Bookish Affair April 23, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I try not to get too bent out of shape about my reading goals. I want to make sure that I’m really enjoying the books that I read and making sure that I give due time to all of the books. If I worry about staying strictly to my goals, I feel like I start missing out books that I have to rush through!

  2. Lisa Almeda Sumner April 24, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    I just sat at my desk and made of a list of eighteen books I want to read very soon (all in my personal library). That doesn’t include books I’ve accepted for review, and books I plan to read for challenges and read-alongs. Is it all just a little too much? I don’t think so–being part of the world of readers and bloggers has made me think more about my goals, and push myself as a reader in all sorts of directions. All to the good.

  3. Bree April 25, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Absolutely yes. Spring and Fall (actually the months of April and September) make me want to clean and get rid of, refocus life and goals, evaluate and reflect.

  4. zeteticat April 26, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I feel better knowing that I’m not the only one feeling ‘behind’ in my self-imposed reading goals. I wrote about the number of books read in a year being just that – a number – a few weeks ago. Goodreads also tells me I’m behind, but I’m not letting it bother me too much. Reading is an outlet, an escape and a pleasure – not a stress or an obligation. I try to remember that when life gets in the way of my reading goals, as it often does. And everyone needs a good Bones Netflix marathon (or Buffy or X-Files) now and again! I really like that Betty Smith quote – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is on my TBR list; I want to get to it this year.

  5. Kerry April 26, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I love this quote! I have “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have” (T. Roosevelt) at my own desk; it’s my own reminder not to be too overwhelmed when things get far too overwhelming (which they do, and often).

    I really enjoyed The New York Trilogy, although I never wrote about it. It was the first Auster I’d read.

    • Rachel April 26, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      The Roosevelt quote is my absolute favorite quote! Totally my life motto 🙂 Completely serious, I’ve used that all over the place. Love it!

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