Time to Read

Let's face it, we could all read more this year. At only day eleven into your resolutions it is easy to see that we could easily add a new one--one that is very important not only for your outlook on the world, but also on the quality of your well-being. No, I am not talking about losing weight or cleaning the house; I'm talking about reading. Sitting down to enjoy a text, to devour it, to transact with it in some way that you will have experienced what has been written and is currently being read.

It is true that most of the individuals I talk to on a daily basis do not value reading. I have family members and friends who do not understand why I like to read so much and have made comments on my reading habits. However, I can assure you that these individuals, and many of the other individuals who scoff at the idea of sitting down for hours with a nice novel, are reading just as much information online from social media, websites, ProjectBooklist.com, etc. In fact, a recent article published on Quartz by Charles Chu identifies many individuals would be able to read 200 books in the time they spend on social media in a year. Chu accounts his experiences and strategies with reading noticing that reading 200  books a year is feasible for most people noting that reading changed his outlook on life.

While this may be a hard pill to swallow, it is one that we have taken seriously here at Project Booklist when we designed this webpage to track our reading journey for this year and the years to follow. We made a point to not make this a page solely dedicated to a resolution because literacy is much greater than a simple goal. Reading and writing play active roles in our lives.

The three of us have dedicated our lives to literacy with multiple degrees earned in studying reading, writing, and language, but also in devoting our free time to creating this site that shows our personal interactions with the written word.

It isn't difficult to create sturdy reading habits that afford time to sit down with a great book. If you say you do not have the time to do so, you may actually be lying to yourself. Think about the time that you spend on social media, watching Netflix, etc. and ask yourself if you could use that time [or part of that time] to delve into a book. Delve is a strange word that means means to dig or reach inside, but with books that is what we are doing; we are reaching into another place to give meaning to the one we currently inhabit.

Those of you that know Amanda and I personally know that we have books in almost every room of our home. I am currently sitting in the dining room looking at a shelve of books that we have checked out from our local library. These books are extremely diverse and eclectic, and I know that the experiences we will have from these books will take us places we have never been, some places we will not want to go, but more importantly provide us with experiences of lives that we may better understand through our reading.

This reminds me of a famous saying by Marcus Tullius Cicero that I once read: "A room without books is like a body without a soul." I guess it is fitting that while I was researching who said this quotation, I was taken to Goodreads and noticed that Amanda had liked the quotation as well. We feel the same about reading and our relationship is even stronger because of this shared passion for literacy.

In a recent post on Facebook, New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bethke gives sage advice that I have really taken to heart over the past month: If a book is not a right fit for you then you have to put it down immediately. Don't spend any more time wasted on something that doesn't reach you. Put it down and move on. Leave your bookmark for later in case you need to come back and revisit what you have already read and continue your journey with that book.

Here at Project Booklist, we give our honest opinions of the books we are reading. Some of our reviews may seem intricate as we dive deep into the various literary and writing elements of the story while others are simple and to the point. We hope our readers understand everyone has a different opinion on a text and each book may reach each person at a different time in their life with a varied experience. I have read some books several times and each experience is very different than the last. Know that we are trying to provide you a little insight into our reading habits. By doing so, we invite you to share your ideas about the book and to comment on the reviews. Feel free to reach out to us to share or to ask for book suggestions and take part in our reading journey:

Email: hello@projectbooklist.com
Twitter: @projectbooklist

Now, it's time to read...