Reading this past year, a reflection

Somehow I have read 52 books this year, as of when I started writing this post with 3 days left of the year (2022). I initially wanted to reflect on what I read this year, but I think I’m going to focus on the reading itself.

I never intended to read this much this year, as my goal was to read 24 books, but I kicked off the year with a 3 month Audible subscription, because the prices was too ridicilous, and I used their library of “included” books to read as much as I could in the beginning of the year. Which helped me remember that there are audiobooks at libraries, and they are available digitally these days.

I think it’s very relevant to add that at the end of last year (2021) I had discovered that my eyes preferred reading with a purple filter, and how much I’ve been struggling with reading my entire life, which was a lot to process. And this realization made it incredibly hard for me to read with my eyes so that’s where audiobooks came in. All the books read this year, 2022, except for one were audiobooks. And the one that wasn’t was just the last few poems of a poetry collection. I did try to start reading with me eyes a few times, with my purple overlay, and eventually with my purple glasses, but it was a bit too much strain. So I just kept slowly enjoying audiobooks instead. It wasn’t always intentional to read with my ears instead.

I just kept listening to books, while doing chores, while going to bed, while taking walk. This took a slight hit when I got my dog in May, because during our walks I needed to pay all attention to her, but eventually we settled into a routine which allowed me to listen to a book with one ear while still paying attention to and working with her. I’d use it when I went grocery shopping, and all in all it racked up a lot of minutes.

I think there’s something to be said here about finding out what works for you. Finding out if an audiobook is better, if a physical book is better, if an ereader is better. Do your eyes need accomodation? Do you need to listen at a higher or slower speed to pay attention? Etc etc. I didn’t realize for years, even while I was studying literature that I needed accomodation, or that those accomodations were even available to me.

It’s easy to expect or hope or believe that there’s some extra value in reading more books. I don’t necessarily think there is. Because I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you all the titles of the books I read in 2022, because I just kept reading and consuming. I might still remember if I’m reminded, in some cases I’ll have completely blanked, and need to re-read some of them because I legitimately don’t remember.

This coming year, it feels like I might be focusing on a few longer reads, especially with the help of audiobooks. Currently working my way through 18hrs of a great book, and I hope to be able to write a little something about it, or down the line connect it and another few books that have similar themes and talk about how they connect in my mind. This idea actually excites me, it’s like academic work of connecting pieces of texts and theory together, but without the academic pressure, and just doing it because of the pure joy of it.

As the new year has begun, I’ve also started reading text again, both with and without my new fancy colored lensed glasses,and I’m able to do it for short periods of time without too much strain, but also allow myself to rest when I feel like it’s enough. I’m also annotating books, which is so precious, because it’s allowing me to engage with the book in a different way, and hopefully, possibly connect it with other books in a more useful manner in the future.

Here’s hoping that this year ahead brings both writing, and reading, in ways I didn’t expect before. In ways I didn’t think I’d be able to get back to again.

And here’s hoping that you’re able to find a way to read that works for you and that you enjoy.

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