Friday, January 03, 2014

Reading in 2013

This year I read just over 50 books. Not since I was 10 or so have I read so little as I have in the last couple of years, those that have passed since I left Denver and came out here to get married. Except for the months I spent overseas, that is. When I lived in Central Asia I read everything slowly. I chewed on it and copied down favorite passages in a journal. And that year, like this one, I had little library access and lived with people who prefer television and movies over reading. That won't change, this time. But I'm hoping to cultivate a greater reading life in 2014. I miss that part of my life a great deal and won't have more seminary classes until June.

I'm vacillating about heading to the Eugene Public Library to persuade them to give me an out-of-district library card, at $120/year (plus paying to park there!) I don't think I'd have gotten my money's worth on that until now, with so much less peaceful time and space for reading... but now may be the time? I do have access to a church library and several school libraries, though they aren't anywhere near my beaten path and have rather limited collections of the things that most interest me.

Under such circs, I've made do primarily with books I can get for free, e.g., in exchange for reviews, or in Kindle editions from my old library back in Colorado (which graciously still honors my library card). One thing I like about Kindle books is that they return themselves; that saves time and puts one less thing on my to-do list. One thing I don't like about Kindle books is that most libraries have rather limited collections of them in comparison to their printed books. So I can't necessarily keep up with all the books I'd like to read if I'm not interested in buying them.

In light of those dynamics, my reading list has been more eccentric than usual. Want to take a look? I just listed and ranked most of them on Goodreads.

A dozen of these titles were read (sometimes skimmed) in order to write reviews for Missions Catalyst, our weekly ezine. Another eight or nine were for the three seminary classes I took. That leaves only about 30 I read just for fun, like the mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear, Catherine Aird, and Anne Perry. (Or edification, like Tim Keller's excellent book, The Meaning of Marriage. Want to hunt down more by him). Some of the school and work books were quite fun or inspiring, too. I'm quite glad I read Hidden in My Heart, Mondays in the Middle East, and Fields of Gold - memoirs from Christian workers in Japan, the Arabian Peninsula, and Kazakhstan, respectively. 

More than two-thirds of the books I read were ebooks or audiobooks, not paper ones. Guess I've crossed over to the modern world, in this one respect anyway, eh? Certainly getting my money's worth for buying an iPad a few years ago. I seem to take it with me everywhere.

Related Posts:
2012 Book Report
2011 Reading List - Part 1 | 2011 Reading List - Part 2
2010 Book List
Read in 2009 - Part 1, Nonfiction | Read in 2009 - Part 2, Fiction
Book Blogging Roundup (2008)

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