I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, but it does so happen that ever since the beginning of the year, I’ve been trying to devote more of my time to reading. This is a commitment I’ve made time and time again in life, and often enough reading has been a focus of at least one of my official New Year’s resolutions. So I guess you could view my latest recommitment as a resolution of sorts. The only problem is, I haven’t set any specific parameters by which to judge my failure or accomplishment of this goal. In years past, I’ve come up with a certain amount of pages that I hope to read by year’s end. For 2007, it was 5,000 pages, which I managed to do. For 2008, I am not being so particular. The only aim I have, other than the generic “read more,” is to indulge in the act of reading in bed. Spending the last few minutes of the day buried in a good book, propped upon one’s pillows, teeth already brushed, bladder already emptied, covers already tucked snuggly around the bottom three quarters of one’s abdomen and the entirety of one’s lower extremities—it is, quite simply, a luxurious experience. It is a tranquil transitional period in which I have engaged all too little over the last two or three years. I am trying to rectify that, and I must admit I have felt quite pampered in allowing myself to do so.
Now that February is here, I’m amazed to see what a difference this recommitment to reading has already made. Although I’ve really enjoyed the reading I’ve done over the last five weeks or so, it hasn’t seemed to me that I’ve done that much more reading than normal. But when I looked back at the reading I had done in January alone, I was shocked to learn that I had already read 1,121 pages worth of books. And that is only what I would call normal books—not magazines, not the textbook I’m teaching as a GTA, not the Old Testament I’ve been reading with my wife on a daily basis nor the New Testament I’ve been reading everyday on my own. Just the basic kinds of books I keep posted in my sidebar. I was impressed. It’s kind of exciting, really, because I’ve always known that no matter how much I read, there will be thousands of books I wanted to read but never did. If I keep going at this rate, however, I might knock out a few dozen more tomes than I ever thought I would. Pretty cool.
I’ll make a similar disclaimer here to the one I made in my previous post, wherein I celebrated writing my 200th blog entry: I know there are plenty of people out there who devour ten times the amount of literature I do. Congratulations to those people. I am merely attempting to celebrate my own further ascent into an activity I find very rewarding and valuable. I am not boasting, and lest anyone think otherwise, I assure you I am still subscribed to MAD Magazine. You can’t boast while admitting to that, can you?