Are you a member of the website Goodreads, where readers share their opinions about books with each other? It is one of my “go-to” places when I’m looking for books, either for my own reading or for my classes. I find the hundreds or thousands of citizen reviews to be a reliable guide for whether or not I should select one book over another. They have generally been a good place to get recommendations on new books, second only to the newsletter from my local independent bookstore, Quail Ridge Books.
Goodreads runs a reading challenge every year, in which readers set a goal for the minimum number of books they will read. For the past several years, I’ve set a goal of 50 books for the year, or nearly one book a week. That seems reasonable–a balance between how busy I am and how much I love reading. I’ve always met my goal, although usually only in December.
I set a personal record this Monday, October 5, when I met my 2020 reading goal. My 50th book of the year was Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, a native North Carolinian who sets her King-Arthur-meets-Black-Lives-Matter fantasy series on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (which is less than 25 miles from my house). It is a really interesting book that reflects the times, and I recommend it.
I’m really excited to have met my goal. I believe this is the earliest I’ve ever achieved it since I started tracking my book reading with Goodreads. Looking back, I attribute the early accomplishment of my goal to the increased time I’ve spent sheltering at home due to the coronavirus. Spending less time out and about has translated into spending more time reading, at least in my case. I’ve read lots of really good books this year, so while I miss socializing with my friends and community, getting a lot of good reading in is not bad compensation.
I tell my students that everything–and I mean EVERYTHING–has a price and a benefit. For me, one of the benefits of sheltering at home has been getting more reading done. So as much as don’t enjoy the restrictions that COVID-19 health measures have required of us all, reading more books is something I can be thankful for.
That is my silver lining story of the week. If you’ve got any good news to share, please do so in the comments. I think we can all use all the good news we can get these days!