Post by Mary Olson, BWB Outlet Store Manager
Did you know we have a Staff Picks section on our website? That’s right; we asked our book-loving staff what books they love and you can find those recommendations on the www.BetterWorldBooks.com homepage Great Reads box (in case you’re looking for your next new favorite).
It just so happens that the books highlighted this month all come highly recommended by me! All ten books were favorites from my 2011 reading list. Honestly, I only had a few non-favorites; it was such an enjoyable year!
I started 2011 with the new year’s resolution that I’d write down every book I read that year. I made this decision after realizing that I don’t remember even half of what I read as a kid. Rather than depending on my (obviously sketchy) memory, I thought I’d log what I read as a 30-something. As I kept track, I noticed that I was finishing about 3 books per month. (I was three months into the year when I noticed the trend.)
I thought, three books? That would be 36 for the year if I kept this up. I could throw in four extras and make it 40 easily enough. It’s a nice round number and all. So I was telling a couple of friends about my reading adventure in, maybe, June. And one of them said, “What, are you reading a book a week, or something?”
And I thought, You could maybe work on your math skills a bit… but, a book a week? 52 isn’t THAT much more than 40. “Sure, I am!” Why not, right?
(Let me just say that if I ever decide to do this again, I’ll be paying my nieces to clean my apartment as it still hasn’t fully recovered.)
Since I hadn’t planned to read 52 books when I started the year, I really had to pick it up in the second half. Though I certainly found a few books that wouldn’t ever make it on my favorites list, overall, I’d say the effort was definitely worth it.
I love how reading enriches my knowledge and experience of myself, of other people, of other cultures, of the capacity we hold for love, expression, hate, fear. I find myself starting or responding in an increasing number of conversations with, “I read this book once, and….”
As, Norton Juster said in one of my 2011 reads, The Phantom Tollbooth:
“Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you’re sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.”
Do you have any reading goals this year? What has been your favorite read of 2012 so far?