Reflections on the 2016 book challenge

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Looking back, I am very proud of how many books I managed to squeeze in this past year. It was a rough year for me personally. I lost my job, started a completely new career in a completely new field. I went from being with my significant other every day to a long distance relationship. My mother suffered from a massive heart attack and subsequent recovery. My darling and cherished seven year old cat was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, and I have spent just about every spare moment taking care of her and trying to grasp every moment I am lucky enough to have left with her. Reading has always been one of my pleasures, but this year it was admittedly challenging with all of these other events going on in my life. I actually had to be diligent and schedule time for reading. There were days where it felt forced, and unpleasant, but I still did it with the belief that it would better me in the long wrong–and it did.

One reflection I will change in 2017–I will be more flexible. I think I may change some of the categories to accommodate books I really want to read, not just choose books based on arbitrary “book challenge” suggestions. So prepare to see some changes there. I also need to learn to let go of a bad book. I always feel compelled, even guilty, to finish a book–even if I hate it. I need to work on letting that go in 2017. Life is too short for bad books!

As a final note, I wanted to reflect on something I heard a lot in 2016. People tell me all the time, “oh, I wish I had time to read,” the implication being that I have no life and just sit here with all kinds of spare time on my hands. After I finish being a tad insulted by that comment, I give them a dose of truth, and I hope you all will take this to heart as well. I have time to read because I MAKE TIME TO READ. I value that time, I believe it is important, so I commit to working it into my schedule. You DO have the time to read. You are spending it doing other things. I watch less tv, spend less time on my phone, etc. to make time for reading. I still work full time, care for two pets, manage a household, volunteer run for a disabled child, take care of a sick family member, make time for my friends and family. I do all the things you do, plus I make time for books. In short, we all have time, we just choose to spend it on other things. I hope this will inspire you to realize that you, too, can make the time to read in 2017.

I hope this is a happy, healthy, prosperous and book-filled year for each of you. Happy Reading!


About alycemsustko

Reader, writer, catmom extraordinaire
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