Reading patterns

Published August 23, 2012

To tie in with the Olympics, the Kindle store held a Reading Marathon sale. Oh, how I love a Kindle sale. I delved right in, clicking my way through book after book, pondering some new purchases. I spent more than I would have liked, but equally, came out with plenty of books for my money, so I can’t complain.

It wasn’t until I synced them with my actual Kindle that I realised quite how many unread books I have. Since I’ve been doing this 100 Books project, I’ve been trying to work through them as a priority, reading only the occasional outside novel when in need of a break. That hasn’t stopped lots of potential good reads passing in front of my eyes though, and when I have seen them, I’ve added them to my Wish List. Occasionally (or quite often, if the backlog is to be believed), I’ve had to snap up a title when it’s a good deal.

To help ease the digital bookcase that I suddenly realised was groaning quite alarmingly, I had a quick look through the books and ploughed through some of the smaller ones. In doing so, I discovered some incredible gems like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Stepford Wives. I don’t know how long these would have sat on my Kindle unread as I continue tobe blindsided by my self-imposed challenge.

It’s hard to get a good balance between reading what I want to and what I have decided I should. I can’t adequately describe how this Big Read Bonanza has opened my eyes to lots of books I would never have considered before, but equally, there’s a bulging Wish List sitting waiting for my attention. I was sort of working on the philosophy of sticking to the list because all those books would be there when I was done, but that’s nowhere near as much fun as this recent voyage of discovery. There must be a way of getting a good balance here… it’s like a much smaller version of the work/life dilemma.

Or, perhaps it is just that these things come in waves, a pattern of enthusiasm for a certain genre or list which lasts a certain amount of time before switching to another. I recently got a bit carried away with the fabulous TimeRiders books, but then I’ve moved away from them midway through the series to return to other novels instead. You can have too much of a good thing!

I’ve made enormous progress with my reading list this year, and now that the end is actually looking achievable, I’ve realised that post-Bonanza I’m not going to have something guiding me through what to read. I should make the most of having this great list, pointing me in new directions. There’s no rush to get through it and there are other things out there that can take priority because it will be there when I choose to go back to it. Tomorrow I might feel different, but the excitement, the passion and the changeable nature of reading is what makes it so brilliant.

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