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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.

Comments

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.

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