In one of my January posts, I set two goals for myself: to read at least 25 books this year, and to read at least five of the books stored on my iPad. Although I have a dismal history of not completing goals, I actually managed to complete these two well before the end of the year! As of this writing, I have completed 72 books, and 10 of them were from the stash of books in my Kindle app.
While I am happy that I finally met my goals, I also feel a little guilty in claiming success. No matter how hard I try, I am still having trouble shaking the feeling that my preference for genre fiction over literary fiction makes my accomplishment less impressive. At least 90% of the books I read this year were historical romances. This has been a stressful year (difficult new job for me, loss of job for my husband) and historical romances calm my nerves and help me escape. However, novels in this genre tend to be quick reads for me; I can usually finish one in two days. Is completing 72 of these books really an accomplishment compared to someone who finished "War and Peace" and "Moby Dick" in the same year?
Of course, I can always look at this from another angle. Part of the reason that I wanted to read more books was to vary my activities. It is the same reason that I want to do more knitting and devote my time to learning other skills instead of always reverting to playing iPad games and watching TV during my free time -- I want to keep my mind more active with a variety of activities. When viewed from that angle, I'm not sure that it matters what I read. Some people say that the best exercise is the exercise you will actually do. Perhaps the same thing applies to books, in that the best books are the ones you will actually read.