I look forward to my reading time. After I tuck the kids in bed, I head for the couch in our bonus room. While my husband watches his daily dose of sports, I lose myself in a novel. Because this is my time for relaxation, I tend to choose books that move quickly and are easy to read; I often shy away from books that take a lot of effort.
In spite of this, I recently challenged myself to broaden my reading horizons. When I entered the blogging world at the beginning of 2007, I noticed that many bloggers named Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite novels. Although I have an elementary/middle school teaching degree with an emphasis in English, I had never read a single Austen book (gasp!). I decided to step outside the box and read all of Austen’s novels, beginning with Pride and Prejudice.
I am proud to say that I finished the last of the six novels in June. I enjoyed all of the books, and I am thankful that I stuck with my original goal. But, I will admit that I almost quit several times. There were nights when my tired brain could only handle a few pages of early nineteenth century English, and I had to put the books down for a time. By the end of each novel, however, I found myself staying up well past my bedtime to discover the end of the story.
Are you up for a challenge? Perhaps you would like to read a classic novel (if so, be sure to check out the Classics Bookclub). Maybe you want to try a nonfiction title, or you may want to read a certain book from the Bible. It could be that you have a love for books but aren’t taking time to read at all. I encourage you to set a goal and get started. You’ll be so glad you did.
Of course, don’t forget a reward. While the reading is a reward in itself, it never hurts to have a prize at the end of a journey. When I started my challenge, I decided to watch the movies after finishing each novel. Some of the books have more than one movie adaptation, so I had multiple rewards. And, as many of you know, watching Colin Firth play Mr. Darcy is quite a treat!
I hope you will decide to step outside of your comfort zone. If you do, feel free to leave a comment describing your goal. Your idea could encourage someone else to do the same!
Lauren is a wife, a mother of two, and an avid reader. She blogs at Baseballs and Bows.