Note: if you are not interested in books or the little issues that readers face, you may skip this little post.
Being a book worm, my new year resolutions usually involve reading challenges. For the last 6 years, this has been to read a 100 books. I have come close. 92, 96. Even the respectable 80. But never ever have I been able to hit 100. This magic number eludes me. So what do I do? I continue that same resolution year after year (even after posting half-hearted numbers such as 52 a couple of years ago) in the hope that I will one day get to it. To add to that, this time I have added Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, one long, long book that requires a lot of time.
Now, this could be me setting myself up to fail once again. Or, it could be this indefatigable belief in my own reading ability. Why do I (and other book-readers) do this? I have been reading through many posts by similar resolution-makers, but I have not been able to come to a conclusion. Probably, it has something to do with our innate need to categorize, list down and excel at what we do best.
This need to list down and count leads to many responses in our own psyches. Some embrace it and some run screaming from it. And yet, we cannot get out from under that fascination of counting. We still engage with the concept and practice of it.
I think it’s a good thing. We then keep track of what we have read, what we tried and whatever else we want to keep track of. It bugs no one, its private and it pits us only against ourselves. In my case, it has led to an increase in reading. I am still trying to read 34,000 books, which I heard some librarian had done some time ago!!! I will probably never get to that goal, but that’s OK. That’s something extraneous. I am not even sure it is true, although it was shown as a record on the papers. Even if I never read 34,000, I will still read some interesting and educational books, and isn’t that it’s own reward?