The other day, my boyfriend told me he didn’t know what to buy me for Christmas, because I don’t have any hobbies. It made me stop and reflect because I always considered reading a hobby of mine. When I was little, my mom would punish me by sending me outside to play because I just wanted to read. I remember refusing to leave my room for days at a time because I was wrapped up in the Witching Hour series by Anne Rice, and then Imajica by Clive Barker and oh, the joy of holing up with every Neil Gaiman book! I remember crying during Harry Potter, and rooting for love to win in Jane Eyre, and adding quote after quote to my quote journals while reading Kierkegaard and Camus and Sartre and Hesse. My professional spirit grew with Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Pat Lencioni, and Simon Sinek. I have always been in love with the ideas in books.
I think that, somehow, as my career progressed and the daily demands increased, I got so wrapped up in “I have to read this” to stay current or to sound smart that I stopped enjoying the love of reading just for the sake of loving reading. Sure, I’ve read, but I wasn’t becoming part of the books. They were something I needed to do before going to bed. It had become a hole I didn’t realize I had.
And then today, I read a blog post called “100 Books” by Joe Mullikin. Joe describes his resolution to read 100 books in 2017 and the impact it had on him. One of the elements I appreciated in Joe’s blog is that his list of books was not just a list of professional books, but included thought-provoking fictional books as well. His list made me miss books – miss the way they fill my soul, fill my brain, and push me to think beyond myself.
So I am committing to recapturing my love of reading in 2018. A book(ish) a week. A blend of fiction and professional learning. And I need your help. Please leave a comment with the one (or two) books that have shaped you as an individual. The book that made you sad when the end came. The book you wish you could buy for everyone you know.
As I read, I’ll share with you my thoughts and titles. Hopefully my journey will inspire the work I do, the life I lead, and the children I raise.
Let’s do this!