quality vs. quantity

This time last year, I had already read over fifty books. I was beginning to pace myself, but excited about reaching my goal even earlier than anticipated.

This year, I set my goal ten books higher than last year, but at this point I’ve only read twenty-two books. I’m not going to lie, it is really hard to see such a small number when I knew I was so much farther last year.

However, I’m taking a different approach.

It all started over Christmas when my mom got Team of Rivals for a gift, and loaned it to me since she didn’t have a lot of time to jump into reading it right away. It’s almost a thousand pages, and it took me a month to finish it. I knew when I was done, and it was already the end of January, that any hope I had of making my 110 book goal was toast.

So I made a new goal for myself — start working on cutting down the mass amount of books in my to-read pile on GoodReads. I wanted to read only quality books — books that I had been wanting to read for some time, books that were more than a mere 300 pages, books that actually had true lessons to offer.

I say this because last year, my book list was lengthy, but not impressive — a lot of YA, a lot of fluff, a lot of easy, read in a couple days, books. If I couldn’t make quantity this year, I was going to make quality.

I still have read some fluff this year, some YA, and I read a book that was only 192 pages. But I’m trying to be more careful in my selections, and I’m pretty proud of the fact that a majority of my reads have caused cross offs on the to-read list.

Currently, I’m reading Gone With the Wind, something I have yearned to read since my mom first introduced me to the movie (a movie I have seen at least a dozen times). I always told myself it was too long, I need to set aside a chunk of time, it was too bulky to carry around. Well, after completing Team of Rivals earlier this year, I knew this was the year I’d be reading Gone With the Wind — and it is amazing.

Some of the amazing books I’ve been reading this year that garnered three or more (out of a possible five) stars:

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin*

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*

My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld*

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters

I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

The ZooKeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman*

Crossed by Ally Condie*

Over You by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

Not My Daughter by Barbara Belinsky

Split: A Memoir of Divorce by Suzanne Finnamore

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult*

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

* = my favorite reads so far

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