Two months into 2017, my goal to #ReadWomen2017 is still going strong! In February, I’ve only read four books (one of which was a graphic novel) but all four were written by women and I took away something different from each. I had a lot of fun reading this month, which felt really good, and I didn’t feel pressured to finish books or read more than I was able.
It feels awesome to be enjoying books again, on my own terms, at my own pace.
And it feels great to not only be working my way through books in my home library that I haven’t read, but to be checking out books from the public library!
I’ve been trying to make a mental to-read list as I move through the year, which is great. It’s helpful to know what I plan to read next as I’m finishing one book and leaves me feeling less anxious about gaps between books. It also keeps me focused; rather than trying to read multiple books at a time, I’m able to finish one before moving onto the next, which makes it easier for me to pay attention and to fall in love with what I’m reading currently, rather than trying to split my attention between multiple books. I used to be able to do that, mostly when I was in school (because I had no choice), but now it’s harder. And that’s okay.
But one of the benefits of getting library books is that there’s a deadline by which I have to read them. Thus far, I haven’t personally checked out any books. Reed has, though! And since we live together, it’s easy to snatch up a book once Reed has finished it and bust through it in a few days so that it can be returned to the library on time.
Somehow, having deadlines with those books has helped me balance out reading the books we own, as well. Because I’m keeping up a steady reading pace, I don’t feel the urge to lag on a book or pick up one, two, three additional books and try my hand at each one before I make a choice. I’m just working my way through a list, paying attention to when books are due back, and loving every minute of it.
Plus, even though I haven’t personally gone to the library yet this year, it feels great to be supporting the local library. Reading this piece on librarians supporting civilian resistance made me realize that engaging in texts from the library helps these all-important centers of information stay open to the public. Supporting the library by checking out books, engaging in library events, and encouraging others to do the same is huge, especially in these turbulent times. Open access to free and accurate information is of paradigm importance.
As a kid, I used to go to the library with my mom all the time. I participated in the yearly summer reading contests, checked out stacks of books, and read until I was so tired that everything swam in front of my poor eyeballs. I haven’t actively gone to the library since college, partially because I didn’t have easy access to one when I lived in rural New Hampshire and partially because I was so determined to build a home library that I stopped appreciating the importance of public ones.
But a few months ago, on my bike ride home from work, I stopped to get a library card and felt really good about the decision. Now I just have to stop mooching off of Reed’s and start using my own!
I’m still feeling super motivated in my reading goals for the year. I’m excited to dive further into my March list, starting with my current read: Pendragon’s Banner by Helen Hollick.
What are you reading? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!