Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reading to Become Part II

Earlier this year, I went through a sort of reading crisis in which I wrote several posts mulling over my reading situation. One such post, a sort of culmination of all of my thoughts I called Reading to Become. I was asked several questions about the concept and many people expressed that they hoped I would share more. I've continued to think about what this means for me and 2011 feels the best time to transition in many ways. Also, I've been preparing for a move and seeing the stacks of unread books in my life and how I prioritize and make choices has caused me to reflect even more upon this issue.

In my original post, I wrote this:
"I feel like I'm finally going to be able to give shape to what I've always wanted this blog to be but never quite pulled off...a place where I interact with the books I read and a place that hopefully fosters community around books and the other pop-culture arts."

Ways in which I hope to accomplish this in 2011:

Faith and Fiction Saturday Round Table
The new format for the Faith and Fiction Saturday Round Table for 2011 is focused on fostering community in a small group around books that will be selected for that purpose and extending invitations to all for discussion at will.

Themed weeks
I have three themed weeks I'd like to do in 2011 with the hopes of learning more about the authors or stories I love. The first one will hopefully feature a group discussion. I'm really looking forward to these.

Read less new-to-me authors
So much of my time in book blogging has been spent reading authors I've never read before and as a result I've not had as much time to read the authors I already know I love. This leads to a lot of reads that are average but maybe not necessarily fantastic. While I will still read new to me authors, I will read less and I will choose which ones to read more carefully by relying on recommendations from trusted authors, friends, and publicists.

Continue the Underground Literary Society podcast
The opportunity to discuss books and themes with authors often helps me appreciate the books on a new level. It's been one of my favorite things to do this past year.

Give myself forced time between stories
If I'm always rushing to read the next book or watch the next movie, I'm not letting what I've just encountered the weight it should have and the time to really think about it. There are endless stories to consume, endless blog posts to read, so much to think about. I need to slow down and be a bit more deliberate about the ones I give space to in my life.

Finally, Jason asked this question:
how do you know what reading a book will make you become? Guess that's the risk of reading?

This is such a great question and obviously I can't know. The shock of encounter with something I've never expected via novel is not unknown to me, it's not common, but it's one of the most delicious things in all of the world. Rare is the book that shakes you all up inside and puts your pieces back together differently. Most books are like a slight increase in temperature towards a boiling point you were headed to anyway. Both experiences are valuable. I can only hope that as a reader I am open to being a different person, and discerning enough to change for the better.

Tomorrow I announce my first themed week for 2011...I'm excited and hope you will be too!


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