Unlike many during the pandemic, I found it difficult to concentrate enough to read a book, let alone write one. Deep down, I felt this loss. It is through reading that I exercise my mind and at the same time escape reality for a bit. I've long been a member of Goodreads but aside from using it as a writer's tool, I've never used it as a reader's tool. That changed in January.
blog but, it only takes a few minutes to sort out genuinely bad books from just bad reviews.
Thanks to my membership in a Book Club, I was already being steered to some pretty good books. That was when I found the reading tool inside of Goodreads which lets you track your progress through a book either by page numbers read or percentage. It may seem like a minor thing that you could actually do a lot of different ways, but something about it being organized inspired me to make reading a habit again. Using the tool, I have a goal of completing 10% of any book I'm reading, every time I pick it up.
Generally, I read three books at once. One is a novel, one is nonfiction or some kind of self-improvement, and one is humorous. It is a balance of genres that I've had for many years and that works well for me. More than anything, it gives me an escape from one book to another if I find myself losing interest. Currently, I am reading the novel Dead in Their Tracks, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, and a collection of humorous and poignant stories called Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith. It may seem like a really strange selection of books for one person, but there is variety in the way each came to me.
The first book is this month's choice for my Book Club. I heard about the Jesuit’s Guide while listening to a podcast while traveling (sorry the name escapes me now). Finally, the author of Keys to the City (James Martin) was doing a reading of the book on the radio and I found the story about Tarzan intriguing enough to seek out the book.
What am I really saying here? Be a reader. It improves your mind, it gives you an escape and gives you something to discuss at a boring dinner party if you need a topic. There are literally zillions of books available at your fingertips – – pick one up and read it. Not only read that one, make it a habit to read at least a few times a week if not daily. Your mind will thank you. The authors will thank you. And that other person's board at the dinner party they will also thank you.