Monday, September 19, 2016

Summer Reading Report and Handling Failure

My summer reading was an interesting experience this year. I had all these plans of reading a thousand books and being all awesome with it. Basically I just wanted to be like Janssen over at Everyday Reading (seriously, mom goals). But in reality I had a hard time getting motivated this summer. I was a brand new mom, trying to stay active and yet having a hard time finding the energy. 

Initially I started out strong. I read The Big Short in just a couple days and loved it. I put The Importance of Being Little on hold, checked out the audio book version of Brooklyn, the hard copy of The Goldfinch, and got the Read Aloud Handbook back off the shelf. And that's about where it ended. 

I was really excited about both Brooklyn and The Goldfinch. I had read lots of reviews for The Goldfinch and my book club read Brooklyn the month Corinne was born and people loved it. I tried to read them both, and just could not get into either of them. I can't even tell you what specifically turned me off, but I was just so bored. So bored and discouraged that I took a break from reading in general for a couple months, something I normally hate to do, but this time it was good for me. 

Eventually I read a couple YA books that had been sitting on my shelf for a while. To be honest they were pretty terrible. But they did their job. They were quick, easily accessible, and got me back into the habit of reading. I was able to get that series under my belt and remember how it felt to finish a book even if I didn't particularly like it.

About a week after I got that boost I got the email saying that The Importance of Being Little was ready for me at the library. I picked it up last week and I have to say that it's been great so far. Its great to get reading a book about education and back into a groove with what I love. 

Overall this has been a surprisingly good experience for me and its reminded me of a few things.

One: It is okay to take a break from something. As cheesy as it sounds there is a time and a place. For a few months I was just really not in the place to leisurely read a bunch of books. 

Two: I don't have to love everything. For some reason I decided a long time ago that I was going to try to finish all the books I start. While I am not going to start quitting all the time, I think it’s important to give something a try, but if I really don't like it then I don't have to dread or stress finishing it.

Three: I need variety. I loved learning so much while in school, and a large part of that was all the different nonfiction books that I read. Since graduating I have tried to incorporate nonfiction books into the rotation and it’s worked really well. And beyond that I have tried to make sure they are about different topics as well, which has kept the variety coming and helped me feel like I was learning.

Four: If I truly love something, I will eventually come back to it. Reading is a hobby that I have consistently stayed with throughout my life. Others have had longer breaks, like fitness or my renewed interest in sewing. If something I'm doing isn't bringing me joy, stepping away from it for a while can help me decipher if its the activity that I don't enjoy or if I just need to get myself re-centered before jumping back in.

So who knows what I will read over the next year or so, but I have a renewed excitement for whatever it ends up being. And I’m glad to get my groove back!

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