in 2021 I started a new treatment regimen and it required some stricter rules for me. because of the oral chemo pills I was put on, it meant that I would be extremely immunocompromised and, as a result, I spent the first half of the year in almost complete isolation; sometimes unable to leave my bedroom. not being able to see or be near my family and friends was probably one of the most mentally and emotionally challenging things I’ve had to face in my life. it made me feel so alone. so I decided, very early on, that I was going to set a goal to read 100 books in one year.
and what a year it has been…
I took to reading with a voracity I haven’t had in a long while. I read recklessly. I read fiercely. I read with a hunger.
and I loved every second of it.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about myself:
- “I am allowed to enjoy _____ “
- I didn’t realize until now how much I had restricted myself with reading before because I thought I wasn’t “cool enough” to try it. I always kind of restricted myself from trying graphic novels or fantasy novels and I made a point to start to venture into those categories more and I love them!
- I need more diversity!
- I wanted more characters and protagonists that I could see myself in and more authentic authors writing them. I am half asian and I wanted to find more representation on my physical and digital shelf. I was able to really tap into that this year and it was so fulfilling for me as a reader to have books with diversity but not just for the sake of slapping it on the “appropriate” shelf.
- I apparently really love Batman?
- I am very competitive.
- I mean, I already knew this one but doing this challenge really drove it home for me in a way I didn’t realize I could be. in order to keep myself on task, I kept an eye on other friends and their progress or toward the last month, I tried to find shorter books.
- I don’t have to finish them all.
- this isn’t Pokemon. I don’t need to catch them all. I don’t need to force myself to read a book I don’t like. I am much more inclined to get at least 25% into the book and realize I don’t like it and walk away. (I don’t “gots ta see it thru my boy”)
For my next one hundred books, here is what I want:
- “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”
- I mean, this is so cliche to say but honestly, this whole illustrated pastel phase in cover art has really thrown me. I haven’t tried any of the cute looking books I’ve seen on GoodReads because I assume they’re cheesy and romantic but honestly… what’s wrong with that? like what if the book is really good?! I dipped my toe in a few and I found some I liked so I’m ready to find more!
- GIMME THE SMUT!
- okay, so off the cuff of the last point, I wanna try some 🔥 s p i c y 🔥 books… let’s get weird.
- I want to be less frenzied.
- I want to continue the 100 books for the year because I loved the impetus it gave me to find time for myself before bed or in little pockets of the day to read or listen to an audiobook. at the same time, I want to be more mindful about it. I was juggling a ton of books at a time (which I do normally, but more so than usual to keep myself on task) and so sometimes I would find myself forcing my way through. listening to audiobooks at 3x or more.
- Let’s get physical
- ebooks are easy to get and easy to carry but I missed having my physical books. we moved a bit in the past year and I opted for less bulk and relied on my kindle a lot.
- I want to support local bookstores. I want to have an even amount of digital/audio/library/indie purchased/borrowed books in this batch.
I’m really glad I decided to commit to this challenge this year and I feel like I’m already a bit behind this year (I haven’t finished a book yet!) but I’m really excited to move forward! 🙂
now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some reading to do…