My year of reading one book a week in 2013
As part of Scottish Book Trust's Writer Development team I am lucky enough to spend a lot of my time with incredibly bookish people; we talk about books, we joke about books, we make book-themed cakes. It’s great, most of the time.
But if there’s a downside it’s the fact that my to-read list grows on a daily basis and no matter how hard I try it seems that the more I read, the less I have read. There’s always a new book, a new author or a wonderful new story that I simply have to read. Somewhere inside me a sad little book nerd is whimpering: Too many books, not enough time, I’ll never read them all before I head to the big library in the sky!
And so in January last year I decided to make my very first Reading Resolution – I would read a book a week for the whole year.
At first – as with most resolutions - I was jogging-on-the-spot excited, I was going to read EVERYTHING! And like most resolutions it started off well: through January I was ahead of schedule, reading like a monster librarian and feeling pretty smug. I was ticking books off the list that I had been meaning to read for years. But then the dreaded February lull hit and the book I was reading was suddenly slow work, I was busy and I just couldn’t seem to find enough time in the day to get down to reading. By the time I had chugged my way to the end of the book it had taken three weeks and I was ready to give up.
Around this time I was browsing in my local library, feeling a bit glum, and somehow managed to find my way to the graphic novels section. I didn’t really know much about this corner of the library so I searched for the only name I knew. Luckily they had it – Preludes & Nocturnes, the first of the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman - I had always wanted to read it and it counts as a book, right?
And what a book! Once I started reading I could hardly put it down, I was no longer struggling to find the time, I was making time to sit down and read.
Over the year I ventured further into the graphic novel world, discovering brilliant writers like Alan Moore, Posy Simmonds, Robert Kirkman, Nicola Streeten, Chris Ware, Marjane Satrapi & Daniel Clowes (current nemesis of Shia LaOaf). I don’t know what I had expected from this particular genre (probably just superheroes) but I was consistently impressed by the richness of the writing and the depths of the subjects. Somehow I found myself reading slower, taking my time and lingering over the words and the worlds in a way that I rarely did with books anymore.
By the end of the year I had hit my target of 52 books (not necessarily one a week, but hey; my game, my rules) and had read 35 novels and 17 graphic novels. It was a wonderful experience that rekindled my reading habit – reading in the morning before work, yeah! - and ticked many of the books off my to-read list. Of course, it also introduced me to the whole new world of graphic novels and, if there’s a downside, I now have much, much more I want to read.
For some reading inspiration of your own, check out our ever-expanding Book Lists!
Want to know what Claire read? Here's her full list.