When I turned 30 a year ago, I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 30 things I’d like to accomplish during the year. Some of the things on the list included,
- Go ice skating
- See a movie at the drive in theatre
- Finally see a Raptors games
… and because I’m such a book lover, I had to include a book goal. So I challenged myself by setting a goal to read 75 books in my 30th year. Since I typically read about 70 books a year, I thought that this goal would challenge me, but not break me (which to me, was very important). So I created a folder on my GoodReads account called, 30 while 30 Reading Challenge (add me as a friend, if we’re not already pals) and I slowly plugged away at adding each book I read from November 18, 2013 to November 18, 2014.
I’m happy to report that not only did I go figure skating and see a Raptors game, but I read 85 books in my 30th year! So, yes, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. But the reason I’m sharing this dorky/bookish achievement with you is that I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I categorized my year of reading. It’s now time for a confession (although it’s pretty obvious if you’re an avid visitor to this blog), I really like organization. I don’t know when this happened, I was not like this as a child, but I somehow operate better when there are lists, goals and spreadsheets. They give me a sense of purpose and in this case, it allows me to reflect of a time in my life when there were a lot of changes, development and achievements. Looking back at this list allows me to recapture experiences that happened while I was reading a particular book.
For example, when I see My Salinger Year on this list, I immediately travel back to the summer, because I was reading this memoir when I went home this summer to say goodbye to my childhood home. Every morning I’d wake up and do a 5km walk around the neighbourhood that helped raise me and then I’d go home to read a little bit of Joanna Rakoff’s memoir about moving out on her own and starting her career in agency publishing. The similarities are outstanding, I know. But from now on, every time I see that book, it will always remind me of my childhood bedroom and those early morning walks.
I’ll always associate The Vacationers by Emma Straub as the book that I read in the park one afternoon while my friend and I sipped on warm beer and ate cucumber, tomato and avocado sandwiches.
Having this list of 85 books not only helps me reconnect with feelings and memories of reading in my thirties, but it helps me remember the books that had an impact on my mind and development. Woah! I feel like I’m getting pretty deep right now. What I guess I’m trying to say is document your reading. It’s the most rewarding way to reflect on all those little details and experiences that you might not otherwise remember.
Now my question to you book lovers, do YOU make notes of the books you read throughout the years? Do you feel it’s important? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please take the time to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.
Happy Reading ~