A dear friend wrote a blog post last year about an Indy reading challenge. Set a reading goal for yourself and strive to read at least that many books in one year. You can read about this challenge on her site at dressedherdaysvintage.com or read how it originally started at Read26Indy. I hope you all have this sort of friend who imbues your life with a sense of graciousness. I am blessed to have someone who has cultivated such a genuine appreciation for everyone in her life. She intuitively sees the blessings each person brings to her days. It is difficult to teach that, but her example is certainly rubbing off on me.
After a brief discussion with her I was encouraged to log my own reading history again. I have never really been in the habit of this with the exception of when I have been pregnant. What does pregnancy have to do with reading lists? Apparently, a great deal to me. I know some people keep pregnancy journals or choose to scrapbook during this life-changing event, but I found it more appropriate to jot down the titles of books I was reading while caring for my babies in utero. Not only has it enabled me to recall books I perhaps read for the first time, but I have a way to preserve my thoughts during a special time of bonding. Now, I have all boys, so realistically I am not sure they will place a high importance on what their mother was reading while their bones were being knit together. However, I care.
Somewhere midst Hemingway and Maugham, Tolstoy and Cather, somewhere between biographies and parenting books, I am reminded of the fact that I am a mother, but I am also an individual, continually in need of growing my own mind and spirit.
I have lately encouraged my offspring to do the same. Two years ago when we began this homeschooling business I printed out a form for them to write, author and title, every book they read in a school year (and during our unofficially schooling summer). We include books they choose to read for fun, books that are part of our language arts curriculum, and read alouds, that is books we read together as a family. My hope is that they can look back, as I have, and be impressed with the sheer volume of their efforts, as well as be reminded of the friendships forged and adventures bravely undertaken through these pages.
On a similar topic, articulate millenial Alice Ozma has written a humorous and charming memoir chronicling her relationship with her father. From about the age of eight or nine, the two embarked on “The Streak,” a promise to read together EVERY night without fail. Even to her mortification when he interrupted her high school drama practice as it dangerously approached midnight. It was a promise that lasted until the night she left for college. At the end of The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared she includes a list of the books they remember reading together. There is also a customizable reading promise you may claim as your own.