I know I’m late but I hope 2020 is wonderful for you and that we’re all entering our best decade yet.
I feel that I’ve never blogged that much about books which is rather strange since I spend a good portion of my time reading.
My goal for 2019 was 100 books. That was probably too ambitious as I was planning a whole church wedding and reception for 100 guests. I managed to read 71 books and I’m very proud of my literary accomplishments, even though I would have liked to meet my goal.
My second goal was to get out of my comfort zone of classics and historical novels. I wanted to explore different genres, and so I did. I read contemporary novels, fantasy and fell in love with thrillers, something I didn’t care for at all. I learned that a book doesn’t have to be the greatest piece of literature ever made for me to enjoy it. A silly romance is okay, and I can allow my literature major Cheila to like it.
All in all, it’s been my best reading year in a very long time. I was a former avid reader who didn’t read that much anymore and now I’m back to my bookworm ways. It feels like home.
I definitely want to keep it up in 2020 so I’ve come up with a list of reading goals:
1. I want to read some non-fiction. I find it mostly boring, to be honest, even if I’m interested in the subject. I understand that there are some great non-fiction books out there and I’d like to read a couple.
2. I’d like to finally finish the Grapes of Wrath. It’s my third attempt and I’m not loving it this time either. I don’t usually finish a book I don’t like (I don’t mind reading a few chapters and deciding it is not for me) but I’d like to finish this one for some reason. I think this is an old quarrel with a university professor I hated.
3. I wish I could finally stop being too lazy to write book reviews. I love following my reading on Goodreads but I never write any reviews, even when the book is perfect. I’m not sure I’ll ever become the kind of reader who writes reviews but I might as well put it out there.
4. Write a monthly reading list on the blog. I mean, I used to envy those bloggers who actually do this, simply because I was not reading enough to post a list myself. But now I am, so there’s nothing stopping me from posting my own monthly list. Maybe I can share great books with you guys and get great recommendations as well.
5. Highlight my favorite passages or quotes. It often happens that I read something that leaves me thinking “wow, this is beautifully written” or “this is definitely true”. Do I think to highlight this? No. Because I’m LAZY. I mean, it’s a Kindle. All I have to do is press and drag.
6. Read 5 classics. I absolutely love classics. There was a time it was all I would read. Then I decided I needed to be more adventurous and now I read just about anything. However, I seem to have forgotten how much I love a good classic. Which is a shame as there is so many I want to read. Sure, I do look at my copy of War and Peace and feel like crying because it is thicker than the Bible but I would like to devour the story at some point. I’d also like to eventually finish Vanity Fair and The Portrait of a Lady. I’ve recently taken them off my bookshelf and placed them on a side table, hoping I’ll look at them more often and remember I want to read them.
7. Read 5 paper books. Okay, please don’t murder me. If you’re one of those people who think a kindle is something from the devil and that I should be punished for using one, I used to be just like you. For a very long time I was personally offended by people who used this horrible devices to substitute a book. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes all the way back every time I encountered one of these “readers”. Then, I personally met Kindle. And Kindle unlimited. And I read about 100 more books than I had in many years. Now I’m now longer a book snob and I’m fine with whatever, as long as people are reading. On the other hand, if you’re one of those “people” who don’t like to read, you should choke on your coffee. Joking. Maybe. Still, I still love real books above all and want to keep reading them. I’m aiming for 5 this year.
8. Read 100 books. This was my goal for 2019 but I ended up at 71. I do want to try for 100 again, now that I’m no longer planning a wedding. I want to be able to say “I read 100 books this year”. It sounds like the perfect number. Besides, reading makes me very happy. Is there a better reason?
Do you have any reading goals for 2020? How many books did you manage in 2019?
My answer: I do. I’m often going through 2 or more books, back and forth between them. Then usually one of them grabs my attention and I read the whole thing until I’m done. Only then I go back to the others.
Please don’t forget that I’m doing this challenge with Maggie and Angela, so be sure to go over to their blogs and check their answers to the challenge. Today, you have the chance to know what their favorite books are.
I’ve been reading since I can remember. I’ve had always loved books. It become a passion when I was about sixteen. That’s when I made my first library card. It was on my Summer vacation. I didn’t have much to do and nowhere to go, as my mother was working all Summer. I needed to take two buses to get there but that didn’t stop me at all. I would go once a week and bring 10 books. That was the number the library would allow. 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction. For non-fiction I would usually get health related books, general knowledge and facts books, History and science related books. Fiction, always a few novels. Books were really good friends of mine. I would always have a book on me. Teachers would get mad because they would catch me reading in class. When it came to subjects such as Literature and Portuguese, I would be one of the few who would actually read the book. Sometimes I had read it the Summer before, and would read it again once it was assigned to us. When the time to choose where I wanted to go for college, I knew that Literature had to be part of it. So I decided on my degree (Languages, Literature and Cultures) because it seemed that it had everything I was interested in and good at. Once in college, I realized I was really good at English and that I was drawn to all of the American history, literature and culture courses, so I decided that would be my Major. American Studies. I still loved English authors and culture, so English Studies became my minor. Funny story, I had first chosen it to be the other way around, but then I changed according to my interests. My school’s library is the second best in the country and has a wide range of books in English. And so, first year of college, I began to read everything in the original language (for English and American works), no translations. Yes, even Shakespeare. I believe that reading in English helped me in becoming fluent. When I started university I was at a B2 level and I got to a C2, which the native equivalent. And then teaching came into my life.
I needed to tell you this little story, of how I feel in love with books. Now, finally, I’ll get to my favorites.
My favorite books: (and authors)
Every single one of Jane Austen’s novels
“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”