Reading in the New Year

unnamedAt the start of 2014, I set a goal for myself to read 50 books. Needless to say, I didn’t quite reach that goal between work, school, and (honestly) getting distracted by video games.  However, I did get halfway there. So I’d say I did pretty good.

Last year I read some really great books (The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin to name a few). On the flip side, I also read some pretty awful books some of which I had to force myself to read through. Thinking back to how many books I wanted to read, and how few I actually got through, I remember something that one of my professors said along the lines of “don’t waste your time on bad books”. You can only read so many books in your life time.

Last year, I only read ~25 books. That really isn’t a lot when you consider all that you want to read. When I pick up a book, I really want to finish it. (Completionist…) But I think I need to learn when to give up on a book and set it aside and when to truck on and see the book through.  I don’t want to waste my time on lackluster books that turn me off from reading but there are also many books that simply take a while to get off the ground.

In any case, I’ve set a more modest goal this year of 30 books.

Some of the books that I’m really excited to read this upcoming year are:

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • The Hamlet by William Faulkner

Are there any books your looking forward to reading in the New Year? Have any reading suggestions? What are some of the worst books you’ve read this past year? Do you regret the time spent on them or are you glad you stuck through, just so it was completed?

“Start. See What Happens.”

About a year ago, I went to listen to someone speak on campus and the main remark I remember from that entire hour was the speaker’s favorite quote:

“Start. See what happens.”

Too often, I, at least feel like “I’m not ready” for whatever it is I’m trying to do. But if not now, when will I ever be ready? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year, even?

I put off writing all the time because I don’t feel I’m ever ready. I have literal notebooks upon notebooks full of ideas, plans, character sketches, world building, and the like for the things I dream of writing but never feel prepared or qualified enough to write.

The same thing goes for starting a blog. I put off this blog for years (and even had a false start or two) simply because I never felt prepared. But if not now, then when will I ever be? Sometimes, the most important thing is simply to start and see where it goes.

There are generally two thought processes regarding new years resolutions: the people who are all for resolutions and starting new things and then those who are pessimistic about this whole “New Years Resolution” thing simply because it fails so frequently.

In my opinion, even if you fail and fall flat on your face, at least you tried. So, it may sound cliché, but I want to encourage others as well as myself to try new things and take risks this year.

Start. Then see what happens from there.

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