Last Thursday, my colleague Karen shared her love for lists, her love of book lists, and her views on how those book lists help her sort books into three categories of “Pleasure, Guilt, and Defiance.” I am also a lover of those lists that come out at the end of the year because they give a nice summary of the year that is leaving, and they can give a good signal to what to expect in the New Year. Additionally, I love the book lists that are published in various venues, and I read them often. I agree with Karen that most of the books can be neatly sorted into the three categories: books I know I will really enjoy, books that are either good for me and I really should read, but I just don’t want to, and books I will not read no matter how highly they are acclaimed.
In other words, the “pleasure” category is going to be the winner every time. I have reached an age where I do not want to waste my time and energy reading something I do not really like. I tend to be genre driven, loyal to characters, and subsequently, loyal to various writers. Of course, I am always looking for a new author’s work to read, and I find some nice little surprises when I browse library book shelves and book store shelves, both real and virtual. I usually know within the first few pages or at least the first chapter if a book is a good fit for me.
When I was younger, I finished every book I read most of the time. However, as I have matured, I am more apt to discard a book or at least to skim large portions of it if I just have to find out who was the murderer or to find out if a happy ending is in the works. I may have become shallow in my reading to a certain extent, but I am giving myself permission to go with the pleasurable aspect of reading above all else.
So for 2016, my goal is to see what the critics say, read the book lists, browse some shelves, and then just READ. I look forward to a year of figuring out mysteries, of being spell bound by beautiful words, and of getting caught up in a story. I hope I can entice many of you to share the journey with me. Happy 2016.