How I Choose What to Read

reading list

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I love to read, but since the Bit came along I feel like I don’t read enough and I’m not reading the “right” things when I do. I read a lot of knitting books (hey, it’s my job) and try to balance that with things I want to read and things I feel like I should read.

I know having “shoulds” in your life isn’t a good idea, and it doesn’t always work out when I pick a book because I feel like I should have read it (which is why I never finished Pride and Prejudice last year).

But sometimes having a reading list works for me. When I hadn’t been out of college too long and was working nights at the paper and trying to figure out what to do with my time, I started reading all the books that had ever won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (the award was called “novel” before 1948). I kept a reading notebook with little reviews of the books, and over the course of a couple of years I read them all.

The last one I read was Gilead, which won in 2005. I never wrote about it so I think I’d have to reread it. That puts me seven years behind, since there was no award last year.

I actually really loved this challenge and felt like it gave me a better grounding in American fiction. I hope to catch up this year and would love to do more like it.

What I’m Reading Now

The sad fact is, those seven books may be enough to get me through the year. So far in 2013 I’ve read 11 knitting books and haven’t finished any other books. emperor of all maladies

Around Christmas I started The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which I’d bought for my Kindle months before (it was a nonfiction Pulitzer winner). Mukherjee is an oncologist and the book is subtitled “a biography of cancer.” It traces the history of cancer and its treatment through the nearly 2,000 years the disease has been documented.

At nearly 600 pages its a huge, dense and sometimes difficult to read book. But it’s also incredibly well written and even lyrical in places. I was actually enjoying it quite a bit.

I stopped reading it in mid-January, though, because I remembered that “Game of Thrones” was coming back on soon and I still needed to read the third book, A Storm of Swords, on which the next season is based. I have no idea what kind of progress I’ve made, since I’m reading it on my iPad. It says I have 600-some pages to go. I hope to finish it by the end of the month so I can get back to Emperor of All Maladies before I forget too much.

What Else Will I Read?

reading list
I’ve actually read most of these…but it’s a pretty shelf.

My real goal for this year was to not buy any physical books (I have bought one, for an online class I’m taking) and as much as possible to read things I already have in my possession, whether in print or in digital copies. I have purchased several business-related ebooks this year already, so I’m not doing great on that score.

But I feel like I haven’t been reading the books that are all around me, and it couldn’t hurt to read some of them and send them on their way, so that’s my goal, more than specific titles.

I really just want to make more time for reading and to strike more of a balance between reading for work and reading for fun. I hope it works out!

What are you reading? Do you make reading lists? Any tips for getting more reading into a day? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing!

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