Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Book Post! Reading Plans for 2013

I read a lot last year, but didn't do a particularly good job keeping track, not nearly so well as 2011 (fiction and nonfiction) when I entered the 52 Books Challenge and kept track of all my reads on Goodreads

This year I would like to do better.  Part of what caused problems last year was that I read a lot of Kindle free books, and some of them were pretty light and even embarrassing to admit I read.    Paranormal mystery, anyone???   And I also embarked on the Great Books Ten Year Reading Plan.   This sounds classier but it is hard to document because it is broken up into pieces to make it easier to digest the harder philosophical works.   I also found this Seven Year Plan which includes the Gateway to the Great Books series, so I have been plugging through that slowly as well.    It sounds confusing but it isn't really, because basically when I get slowed way down reading, say,  Aristotle's Physics, I can turn to Twain short stories and Chekhov plays in the Gateway series.

This year I want to slow way down on the light fiction.   And I also want to focus more on reading books we have around the house, after two years of mostly e-reading.      The main challenges will be (1) having to wear my glasses whenever I read, rather than resizing the text to primary size and (2) not having an easy way to highlight and annotate.  I hate marking up books, no matter what Mortimer Adler says!   I hate seeing my writing on the pages.  I get the creeps even touching the page with a pencil or pen.   The best way I've found to deal with it is to buy a whole lof of those little post-it arrows that you can get, and put them on everything I want to remember in a book.  But that means I have to keep both glasses AND post-its around me whenever I'm reading.  So old-style books definitely do have their drawbacks.

I decided especially to focus on children's books.   Many of the books we have on the children's bookshelves are favorites from my childhood.  But some I just bought because someone recommended them, and didn't actually read them.   So I'm going to pick out some of the ones I haven't read, and start trying to read at least one a week.     What I would really like to do is post a review of or supplement for each one I read, but we will see : ). 

My Great Books reading will continue.  I would particularly like to focus on GBs I either want to read for myself, or that my children will be reading at some point.   For example, right now I am reading Tocqueville's Democracy in America which meets both criteria.  I've wanted to read it for a long time, AND Clare was reading it this year for college, and I might have Kieron read at least some of it next year when he studies US History. 

Finally, I want to be more regular about my spiritual reading.  Again, I will focus mostly on the books we already have around the house, but I also found a couple of Catholic reading plans:  This one by the late Fr John Hardon and this one by Fr McCloskey

If I blogged all this I would write about nothing but books! (and maybe that would be a good thing!).   But I do hope to spotlight the children's books, at least, because I like searching for a given book and finding that others have discussed it.    And I will try to keep you up to date on whatever Great Book I am presently struggling through, so if you are interested in reading some of those, you will be able to follow along if you want.

In another post I will try to list some of my reading for 2012, though as I said, I have a sadly incomplete record.  

10 comments:

  1. well I like blog posts about books:) I also have some lighter fiction that I'd be to embarrassed to admit, but I am recording all my other books on goodreads and enjoying looking back over. Some are rather light, sometimes I'm stuck in a rut but I'm pleased to be finally diverging of late.

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    1. Erin, I thought you might comment! :-) I know you love book posts. I think we all get in ruts. I am getting so much older that I have more of a sense that I'd better hurry and read all those books I would like to have read, so that is a motivation.

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    2. oh no so now I'm predictable! lol:) I just finished 'Still Alice' by Lisa Geneva, a college professor who loves reading, but she develops early onset alzheimer's and as it progresses has trouble remembering the thread of books:(

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    3. I think I read about that book, maybe on your blog! It sounds interesting. And sad.

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  2. Willa,

    I smiled when you mentioned your need for reading glasses! I can no longer read without mine. And if I enlarged the font on my Kindle to the necessary size, there wouldn't be many words on any one page!

    I would also like to read some of the books on our shelves. I was looking at our books the other day and thinking how interesting some of them look. I keep getting distracted by buying new Kindle books.

    We've got the Great Books collection but I hate reading them because they are not user friendly. The pages are so pristine and beautiful looking, with gold edges. It seems such a shame to touch them and risk damage. I know that sounds silly! I'd do better reading Kindle versions of the same books. I have a study guide for some of the books. Andy and I worked our way through Plato and then got distracted. Perhaps I should think about trying again.

    I love book posts! Thank you for sharing your book plans.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I found kindle or epub versions of the books so that I could mark them easier and wouldn't have to carry a big volume around with me. Sad that the fancy editions discourage actual use eh? My husband bought some fancy editions but everyone seems afraid to pick them up except Aidan. He selects the red ones to pretend they are the lectionaries used at mass.

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  3. I am blind without my glasses, anymore. I, who used to be so proud of my good eye sight. Silly, vain thing, I was!

    I have an old set of paper back books that my aunt gave me from when she participated in a great books book club from the Great Books Foundation. I was going to use them with my 17 yo but alas, I can't get him into it at all. So they sit there, taunting me. LOL.

    I don't feel ambitious right now in terms of reading, but I have been having fun pre-reading the middle school selections next year for Aquinas Learning. But that's about the level I am at currently!

    Btw. my political philosophy major daughter loves, loves, loves Tocqueville and while she's read lots of Democracy in America, she's not read it all. Her ambition is to read the whole thing from cover to cover. But first she has to graduate. No time right now for anything but dealing with her last semester of classes and writing her senior thesis.

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    1. I took my good eyesight for granted! My husband had to start wearing glasses tweo years ahead of me, so that made me feel rather smug:-) I have trouble getting my 17 year old to read heavy stuff and I notice Kolbe abridges Tocqueville so maybe I will look for excerpts to give to him. My daughter is in her senior year writing her thesis too. I am guessing she will want a break from books after she graduates since she is a little burned out but she spent almost all of dinner talking about Tocqueville yesterday.

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  4. Willa, you might be interested in the Great Books Ten Year Reading Plan posts over at MotherBird: http://motherbird.squarespace.com/the-great-conversation-challen/

    We've just finished the Hutchins intro piece and are discussing Plato's Apology now.

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    1. Thanks, Lissa! I will check it out! :-)

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