Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How many blog posts does it take to make a book?

When I reviewed my 2015 goal list I gave myself a little pat on the back. I hadn’t managed to achieve all my targets, but some unexpected successes more than made up for the failures.

But one statistic flummoxed me. I’d signed up to the Goodreads reading challenge and pledged to read 12 books over the year. I was certain I could get through one book a month, and secretly expected to read a lot more. And my grand total?
Only four books? That had to be a mistake. I checked the notebook I use as a reading record and decided I must have forgotten to enter some of my read books. I checked my bookshelves. They were crammed with books I’d read, but my notebook confirmed I’d read all but four in previous years. I remembered giving a bag of books to a charity shop. What were their titles? When had I read them?

It didn’t make sense. I’m reading all the time. Only that morning I’d read a couple of stories in Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and …

Of course! I’d only counted fiction I’d read in book form. I hadn’t included any non-fiction, individual short stories I’d found in magazines and online, books I’d dipped into but hadn’t read from cover to cover, not to mention all those interesting articles in newspapers and on websites. And as for blogs …! How many thousands, millions, of words had I read on blogs? I’m sure if I’d added them all up they’d be the equivalent of reading War and Peace – at least!

I’ve signed up to the 2016 reading challenge, and have again chosen the modest target of twelve books, but I won’t be surprised or disappointed if I don’t make it. There are just too many reading distractions out there!

Here are two books (both Christmas presents) that I doubt I’ll get through by the end of the year. The last Writers’ & Artists’Yearbook I bought for myself was the 2012 edition, so I’ll be reading the new articles in this year’s edition very carefully, but the listings of publishers, agents, magazines etc. will be dipped into as and when I need them.

The other book, Photocrafty by Sue Venables, offers hours of distracting fun with suggestions for 75 photography projects. Can’t wait to get started on some of them. (Except I’m supposed to be writing – and reading!)      

Have you given yourself any reading challenges this year?


Patsy said...

I don't set reading challenes as I read quite a lot already - sometimes several books a wek (I read quite quickly). Instead I have set myself the task of leaving an Amazon review for most of them. (Not all, because if I seriously dislike a book by a friend I plan to stay tactfully silent)

Linda D said...

Ah yes, Patsy, reviews! One of the reasons I signed up for the reading challenge was because I thought making my reading list public would shame me into writing more reviews. Which reminds me ... I've just put a review of Not A Drop To Drink on Amazon. Better late than never!

Jan Baynham said...

I haven't set my self a challenge for the number of books I intend to read, Linda. As soon as one is finished, I go straight to another on on my 'to-read'list. I'm not very good at leaving reviews so that should be something I could set myself to do. An interesting post.

Nicola said...

I don't set myself reading challenges as I read for at least 90 minutes every day already. I can't go a day without reading. But one thing I have started to do is to read outside of my normally preferred genre. Have a lovely week.

Susan A Eames said...

It has never occurred to me to set a reading challenge - I've always got a book on the go so I don't think I need to set this as a challenge! Good luck with yours, Linda.