Reading My Library in 2017

 

I have always loved reading, but I have not always had time to read.  I have also always loved to be surrounded by books.  I have fond and vivid memories of the shelves running the length of my bedroom wall when I was a girl, packed full of wonders and treasures, such as The Wind in the Willows, many of Agatha Christie’s novels, and old favourites like Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers series.

2016 was the best reading year I have had for a long time.  In recent past times, my work gradually took an ever increasingly tight stranglehold on my time, energy and head-space.  The result was that although I started many books, I rarely finished anything.  Happily, my circumstances have very much changed for the better, and one of the miraculous consequences has been that last year I was able to enjoy and, yes even finish, just over 50 books.

So I am raring to go with my reading in 2017.  Last year, I used a reading challenge to help guide my choices.  This was enjoyable to a point.  On the plus side, I read things I have wanted to read for a long time.  I also read books that I would not otherwise have picked up.  I found, however, that the self-imposed pressure to read particular books sat rather uncomfortably with me – I am the type of reader that likes to meander around, keeping a range of books on the go at any one time, and most importantly, keeping my options open.

I’m not going to take up that kind of challenge this year, therefore.  What I am going to do is make the most of the many unread books already on my shelves.  Browsing around our apartment over the festive period has reminded me that I have some gorgeous classics – some read, most not; some tantalisingly interesting non-fiction; and a wide range of modern fiction.

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A selection of some of my classics

On a rough count, I have around 150 unread books, and that doesn’t even include the 100+ books on my Kindle.

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Some modern fiction (and more classics) getting cosy with our DVDs

I have given myself an increased target of 72 books finished in 2017 – at this rate, I would not need to buy another book for about 4 years!

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A selection of some of my to-be-read non-fiction

I should quickly say at this point that I do not intend to restrict myself from buying new books – now that really would be utterly unrealistic!  I already know, for example, that I will want to read up on the Reformation, for which 2017 marks 500 years since Luther nailed Ninety-Five Theses to Castle Church door in Wittenberg.  I am not religious, but am always interested in important world events such as this.

The other key historical event about which I want to read more is the Second Battle of Passchendaele, the 100th anniversary of which falls later this year.  Hub has been doing some genealogical research in recent months, and discovered that his great-grandfather died on 17 November 1917 as a result of fighting in this battle.  We plan to visit his grave in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetry at Étaples and I am keen to know more about this part of the First World War before we go.

What a sumptuous reading year I have ahead of me – I can’t wait! 🙂

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29 thoughts on “Reading My Library in 2017

  1. You have a great selection of book there, so indeed you don;t need to buy any really. Enjoy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All that historical research sounds fascinating – I love getting my teeth into a subject that really floats my boat. I’m on a book-buying lock-down this year so my reading will be straight off my own shelves too. Good luck with your target!

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    1. Thanks Sarah – great minds obviously think alike! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My grandfather was at Passchandeale. Perhaps they fought together. He told my father, what he most remembered was the smell of the dead. Not all anniversaries are happy. Dulce et decorum est. sorry Liz!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Liz, what a story. Thank you very much for sharing it. Have you and Mike been to Etaples while visiting war sites?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. PS, Steve thinks his great-grandfather also fought in Gallipoli, where we think that Mike had a connection? X

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  4. I am reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I usually read non-fiction, but you have inspired me to broaden my reading. At the same time I am reading “The Black Count” by Tom Reiss and Else Schiaparelli by Meryl Secrest. So many wonderful books from which to choose.

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    1. Ah, reading Wolf Hall is like reading a history book – it’s so good! I love HM’s style. We clearly inspire each other – I have at least three books in my non-fiction pile which were your recommendations! 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love sharing the “book” journey!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a plan! You did so well in 2016 and I am pretty sure you’ll meet your goals for 2017, too. And have fun doing it. I think, more and more, that I need to plan some structured reading time into my days. I read light fiction every day for an hour or two but don’t take the time to read anything meaningful.

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    1. It’s a really interesting, and tricky, one, Kerry. But nothing wrong with light reading if that is the only thing you have head-space and energy for at the moment. 🙂

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  6. Have fun with your 2017 reading Liz! I have so many un-read books on my shelves I think I could easily read for at least an hour a day for a couple of years and still not get through them all. Shocking really! I am so pleased you have found more time for reading – it is such a pleasure to do and isn’t a waste of time (though I still manage to feel guilty!)

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    1. Thank you Clare! So many books, so little time… 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember you saying you were thinking of doing this – I love it!

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    1. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you 🙂

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  8. Love your bookshelves.. I recognise many of my favorite Folio editions ;;; my grandfather fought at Gallipoli too.. the other in the first line that stepped out on the first day of the Somme…

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    1. My goodness, what a heritage. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of hell those soldiers went through.

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      1. In one of my recent blogs, I tell the story of how every male member of my family fought in every war !
        I didn’t see my father until I was nine because of WW2… and then we lived at Belsen…of ill fame !!

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      2. Incredible. I have now read that post – it is brilliant.

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  9. I spy J.L. Carr’s A Month in the Country, now that is a wonderful book and would tie in with your visit to the war graves as the main character is one of the survivors, it would make a nice counterpoint. Love your classics collection too, ah it makes me want to read now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, thanks so much for pointing out that link. No idea how many of all the books, especially those in the classics dept, will get read, but am really enjoying the prospect – a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single page….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It certainly does and if the protagonist is on a plane, it could end in a single page too!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I. Love. Your. Bookcase!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thanks so much! Really appreciate your comment 🙂

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