12 May 2011

Navel-gazing

Here is a marvellous new word I just learned: omphaloskepsis = contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation.

I have been involved in a bit introspection lately and one of the the things I have been examining is my reading habits and bookish likes and dislikes. I have come to the conclusion that I have some very fixed, if not positively staid, reading habits.

When I originally started this blog, or rather the blog that spawned this one, which was hosted on tblog and titled 52 Books, I did it in order to shake up my almost fossilised reading habits. I used the blog to keep myself on track with the book-a-week challenge I had set myself, with the aim of reading one book a week by an author or in a genre new to me, and getting off the reread carousel I had been on for the last several years leading up to the challenge. Not that rereading is in itself a bad thing, but when nearly half the considerable amount of books (in my case 150+) one reads in a given year is rereads and there are thousands of books on the TBR list that you haven’t read, something needs to be done. And I did it.

The result was that I now reread fewer than 10 books a year, have added several new authors to my “read more by” list (including three new contenders for my top ten favourite authors list), and I started reading romances again after a hiatus of 15 years.

Now I again feel like my reading habits are getting fossilised. The last time around I rushed headlong into a reading challenge in order to shake things up. This time I am going to sit down and analyse the situation more thoroughly and decide whether I need or even want to change things. I am going to be periodically posting some of the resultant musings to try to analyse why I like or dislike a particular genre or theme. I might even try to overcome some of my dislikes with targeted reading, but some of them are so deeply ingrained that I doubt I’ll be able to budge them. I call these my red flags, for obvious reasons. I think I should be able to deal with the subjects that merely make me uncomfortable, given sufficient analysis, but they may prove to be just as stubborn as the red flags.

1 comment:

George said...

I reread very few books. There are just so many new books to read! I try to alternate fiction and nonfiction, but other than that I just let my mood influence my reading choices.