setting a new PR.

Last year, I read a measly eight books.  Total.  The entire year.  2016 numbered among the least productive reading years of my whole life. Which is fine; it was what it was.  But I hoped this year would have a little more to show for it.

I'm happy to say I've already read more at this point than I did all of last year.  That is to say, I've read more books this month than I did all of last year.  (It is our summer break month, and I've been pretty couch-bound with a newborn, so I've had an unusual amount of reading time made available to me by circumstances.)  I'm pretty sure this is a personal record for me, which is super exciting.  I will probably never run a marathon; I may never even run a 5k.  I don't lift weights or do anything remotely resembling athletic effort.  So I'm doing the literary equivalent of whatever you do after you complete a marathon... pass out, I guess?  Yes, this blog post is my nonathletic collapse.  (The good kind.)

Though some of them were started earlier in the year, all of these were completed in July:

  1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (7/1)
  2. A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George (7/2)
  3. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (7/7)
  4. The Heart of a Woman Who Prays by Elizabeth George (7/15)
  5. Seven Women and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas (7/16)
  6. A Natural Sense of Wonder by Rick Van Noy (7/18)
  7. Disciplines of the Home by Anne Ortlund (7/21)
  8. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung (7/22)
  9. All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth (7/23)
  10. When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling by R.C. Sproul, Jr. (7/25)
  11. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry (7/29)

And, as it's still technically July for the rest of the day, I'm going to try to finish my current book, "Crazy Busy" by Kevin DeYoung in time to include it on the list as well.  Partially to get one more in under the buzzer, and partially because I don't like numbered lists with odd numbers of items on them.  They just seem so unfinished.

While I'd love to say this is a sustainable pace, I really doubt I'll be able to come anywhere close to this many books in a month anytime soon.  Maybe if I start listening to audiobooks?  Which might be worth it - I've read a couple posts lately about cultivating a radical habit of reading, which have been inspiring and thought-provoking.

In the Time You Spend On Social Media, You Could Read 200 Books

Reading Wars

Now, knowing me, homeschool will kick in here in a week, I will get exhausted trying to juggle it all, and I will spend my leftover, limited free time lying in a coma on the couch in front of Netflix.  Because, seasons y'all.  But any step in the right direction is a step in the right direction.  (By that I mean reading something, not my Netflix habit.)

Onward and upward.


todd said...

there is a healthy dose of irony in attempting to blitz through a book titled, "Crazy Busy," in order to include it on your "done" list. :)

Lissa said...

I'm impressed! And I love that you try to read while you nurse! I have not been able to do that but maybe the next baby? :-) Do you do your reading while nursing on a phone or something or do you actually hold a book because I don't think I could hold a book while I hold a baby??

I have not read Anne Ortlund, but I listened to an interview with her and was overwhelmed by the feeling that I wish I knew her when she was living! I felt like her life was such a wealth of riches. I also really enjoy listening to interviews with her daughter-in-law, Jannie. The only book on your list that I have read is Just Do Something, which I had such mixed opinions on! I marked that book up like crazy! What did you think about it?

paige said...

I do read actual books while I nurse - I'm able to one-hand it while I hold the baby in the other arm, but maybe I'm only able to because my fingers are grossly long? I typically read more in the very-new-newborn stages than any other season in motherhood, because I'm just sitting so much. It makes for sweet memories and associations - for instance, Finneas is my "Anne of Green Gables" baby. :)

Anne Ortlund is wonderful - and her son, Ray Ortlund, Jr. is the author of some of Todd's favorite commentaries. You should read something by her - and if I'm making suggestions, "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George is likely one you'd love, too.

I honestly love Just Do Something! I think the biggest take-away for me was that God spends so much time talking about his moral will for our lives, and very little time prophesying the futures of individuals other than Jesus. We should be more concerned with knowing and doing his will as he's made it clear in Scripture, than treating him like a magic 8 ball about any and every decision about an unknown future. Like, if you can honor God equally at either one of two different colleges, maybe he's fine with leaving it up to you to just pick one. Maybe there is often no 'right' answer other than that, and if he DOES have an opinion, we don't have to worry that he'd keep it a secret from us. He gives us what we need to obey, including clear directions on what he wants us to do. I found that really helpful!