2018 was a tough personal year for me which led me to seek solace in reading. Voila! I read 107 books and earlier shared my memorable books of 2018. As much as I enjoy requesting advanced readers copies (ARCs) from NetGalley, purchasing books and borrowing books from various locations, I was once again faced with information overload.
As 2018 was winding down, I came across an article by The Morning News talking about binge-reading. Though the author focuses on reading online articles, I was struck by these lines:
Reading is a nuanced word, but the most common kind of reading is likely reading as consumption: where we read, especially on the Internet, merely to acquire information. Information that stands no chance of becoming knowledge unless it “sticks.”Nikkitha Bakshani
I was faced with the sad reality that I was not enjoying reading books as much as I would have liked and was basically binge-reading. By this, I mean skimming through the material and skipping the stuff that I basically do not enjoy. Nothing I was reading was sticking and that was so frustrating.
I also recognised that I was constantly missing out on other crucial life lessons and experiences. Yes, I have accepted my introverted ways. But sometimes, in order to grow, it is important to step out of one’s comfort zone. That may also include putting down the book or Kindle and stepping out of the house.
This was further highlighted when I attended a leadership programme in December 2018 where I got to interact with 75+ young people from all over East and Central Africa who are running amazing initiatives that are empowering other young people in the region. It made me realise that despite having read those 100 books, nothing can substitute the first-hand experience no matter how riveting and tear-jerking the book is. Yes, so said the introverted bookworm. As cheesy it sounds, sometimes, its time to put to down the books in order to write your own personal story.
So in 2019, I do not think I will have any revolutionary goals. I am hoping to keep it simple:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: First off, I am convinced that the colour of this year’s challenge is Astral Aura, Pantone 19-3830 TPX. I could not rest without finding what that shade of purple was. Ok. Back to the numbers, I have set my goal to 25 so that will cover the books that I have pending on my Netgalley shelf because it is important to me to give feedback especially those published before July 2018. Also, I did not want to pressure myself.
Netgalley: I lost my reviewing momentum but that it did not dampen my requesting streak. and boy, did the approvals come raining in when I was not reading in December so my review rate is currently at 79%. In 2019, I plan on slowing down on the number of requests (at least in Q1) and focus on the close to 20 titles that I have on my shelf. My aim is to maintain a review rate of 90% and above.
Reading Challenges: I am doing the Unread Shelf Project Challenge once again in 2019. Though Reading Women, Modern Mrs Darcy and PopSugar challenges seem enticing, I really do not think that I will have the bandwidth to complete them and achieve other goals especially writing ones
Lastly, I would like to read more non-fiction books especially those that are on my shelf. I hope to take the time to savour them and pick their key lessons.
What have you got lined up for 2019? What is the one book that you want to read in 2019?