Friday, December 12, 2008

Reading my way through the year

Emma, a Community Outreach Officer at the Boroondara Libraries set herself a herculean task in 2008.

She decided that she would attempt to read her way through 50 books from January to December (with two weeks to wind-down from all that literature). She had some titles which she had wanted to read for some time, otherwise it was a mixed selection: long, short, deep or light reading. Her choice of books did not require that she read a book a week but rather whatever took her fancy or came to her attention via reviews or suggestions from friends, library colleagues or by serendipity when she saw something interesting while working at the circulation desk.

As we approach Christmas, Emma has just finished the 48th book. Some of her favourite reads this year include: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung; The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett; Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan; The Marchesa by Simonetta Agnello Hornby (translated from Italian); Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn; and In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien.

The process of reading 50 books was not hard for Emma. However a book that did not live up to her expectations, or was a reading experience that was too intense, slowed her down.

Emma enjoyed this project. She does not think she would do it again; it puts pressure on a person as a reader and it simply takes time to read and digest some books properly. Slow reading and thinking about what an author is trying to achieve is important, as is having time to let a book linger in your mind for some time after you have finished it.

Yes, there are still two books to go for Emma to complete her task.

Will she get there????

Stay tuned.

Happy holiday reading and perhaps you can make it your New Year’s Resolution to follow Emma and set the goal of 50 books for 2009.

Start a list, visit the Boroondara Library Service where you will find a great range of fiction and non-fiction to motivate you … and start reading!

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