Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Words: Reading Widely

A few days ago, I came  came across an article about Ann Morgan, a woman in the UK who set the goal of reading 196 books in a 2012, one from every country of the world along. She succeeded. I also read about Patrick Lenton, a man aiming to tackle as many of the 339 books Rory Gilmore is seen reading during seven seasons of Gilmore Girls as he can. Curious to see where I fit in on a scale of one to Rory, I put added the list of Rory's books to the website List Challenges and shared the link to it on my Tumblr.

And wow did that link spread. Now 586 notes on a Tumblr post is peas and carrots to some people, but it's the most I've ever had. It's been fun reading people's comments on how many they've read and how they want to take on more. Somewhere along the line, so many of us have been distracted by what's new, what's coming, we forget about the books that are already here. And getting back to the Read Around the World Challenge, where is our desire to be more widely read? I'm personally guilty of the fact that most of my reading material is either American or British literature, yet when I read Anna and the French Kiss a few years ago, I was grabbed by the topic of literary translations that comes up in the novel (so much so that I tweeted a link to the article to Anna's author Stephanie Perkins and she and I had a nice little conversation about it =) ).

In a way, the situation makes me sad that there are so many amazing books out there from other places and times past that I haven't read, and part of me wonders if becoming a book blogger has played into me not reading them. Sure I studied that kind of literature in college, but now I have stack of ARCs, of books that technically aren't 'here' yet, to read meanwhile there are libraries full of books that have been there since long before my birth.

A new goal is born: I turn 25 at the end of August. Before I turn 26, I'm hoping to read at least five books that are outside my usual YA bubble and haven't come out recently. Maybe I'll finally tackle The Kite Runner or a novel by Charles Dickens because I haven't yet. Five doesn't seem like a lot, but knowing me and how these books will require more of my time, I think five may actually be generous. Hopefully I will do much better than that, and I will absolutely be using Ann Morgan's list as a reference point in this challenge. Rory's list will come into play, I'm sure, too.

So how do you do it, or do you? Do you stick to one thing (like I tend to in recent years with YA) or are you good at branching out?

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!


  1. Lately I've been reading a lot of YA since that's most of what we buy at school, but I need to get back into adult stuff again. I need to read The Kite Runner too--we should do an online book club :)

    1. Oh my gosh YES we should do an online book club! Once the school year gets under our feet absolutely I would love that =)