Ending the Year With a Bit of a Rant

I will spend time today wrapping up my LibraryThing thread for 2023. I am part of a group that sets a goal of reading 75 books each year and sharing that reading and more with the group. Many of us, especially those on the mostly-retired end of the spectrum and old enough to be past the “guilty pleasure” syndrome so we read what the heck we want, read many more than 75 books. I will top out at 170 this year with about 40 audio books included in that number.

So, here’s my rant: scrolling social media (tell me again why I do that??), I happened upon a book guy speaking out strongly against setting quantitative goals for the new year. It meant you weren’t reading deeply or well, obviously skipping blissfully along on a diet of cozy mysteries and celebrity memoirs, and, in his mind, that was wrong. You were supposed to read the way he read, savoring every word, digging into every nuance, connecting with the author in deeply meaningful ways. Otherwise, could you really call yourself a reader?

I had the same visceral reaction to his remarks as I did when the William & Mary undergrad in the course I was teaching reacted with disgust at my professed joy in reading the Twilight series. But, rather than listing my bona fides the way I did with her, I will simply say this: you be you. Read whatever and however you want. Feel free to use your platform to tell us how much you get out of it. Feel free to even encourage us to try it. Feel free to ask us to share our experiences. You might be surprised with what you learn. But, please, stop short at judging us and our reading preferences and styles based on your experiences.

It is a practice that can be applied in many area of our lives. Share your experiences and the lessons you’ve learned that you think could help others. Then, stop, right at the cliff’s edge of “if you don’t do what I suggest, then you are bad/wrong/dumb.”

Leave a Reply