Slowing Down

The other day I got a notice that someone liked one of my reviews on Goodreads. I went to see what it was for and realized that I had no memory of reading that book. Last year. I’d given it a good review, so clearly I’d enjoyed it, and yet I couldn’t remember any details about it. I had to dig on the site and in my head until I got a vague recollection of what the book had been about.
That really gave me pause. I’m a competitive person. I like to “win.” Now, because I’m not particularly gifted athletically, I’ve always competed against myself. The goal back when I was a kid swimming was to swim a best time. Now that I run, it’s to run a personal best. And apparently that’s carried over to my reading. Goodreads has yearly reading goals, and I’ve been trying to up my number of books read per year each year. I had set myself a goal last year of 100 books. I dropped it to 85 as we hit December and it was clear I was never going to get to 100. I made 85, just, but I was disappointed. I decided I’d be more realistic this year and stretch myself with a goal of 90. After the whole what-did-I-read debacle with the review though, I’ve dropped that to 75. What is the point of plowing through books to hit some self-imposed goal if I can’t remember what I’ve read six months later? I enjoy reading for it’s own sake – I don’t need to get caught up in numbers and lose that. 75 seems like enough of a challenge to make a good goal, but not so large a number that I won’t be able to slow down and savor a good book as I go. I’m going to give it a shot and try to stay flexible so that, at the end of the year I’ll have had x number of quality reads.

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