Monday, December 31, 2012

One resolution for fifty years

When I graduated from college fifty years ago I made a resolution: I will not let my education end here.  I will try to read 100 book a year the rest of my life.  I have tired. I have a little notebook with what I read and how well I did on my resolution.  One year at 15 in the late spring, I marked it "unfinished". Every other year is complete. Recently I told someone that I think I've averaged about 65 a year. But why guess? 

I just sat down with that little notebook, a piece of paper and a pen and, guess what?  I DID average 65 a year! But it was hardly a regular 65. I surprised myself as I looked at my record.  After college I got off to a slow start for a few years mostly not over 50. But then came the '70s and -- wow-whee! for almost the whole decade I DID read 100 books a year, one year as high as 113.  I was the mother of young children settling into a small town.  I joined a book group and I had time to read although gradually getting involved in community volunteer activities  Through the '80s and '90s it dropped precipitously.  I had moved to NYC, was writing plays thick and fast, taking classes, working to support myself.  I didn't quite manage a book a week. But in the last ten years I'm truly averaging 65 a year. This year it was 67.   Note, none of this includes magazines which I read voraciously or newspapers. 

So that's my story of a long, long term resolution.  Total: 3334.  Not really very grand. There is SO Much more I'd like to have read.  I'm not done yet.  A new year starts tonight and a new page in the notebook.  That is the ONLY resolution I make.  It's been a good one and truly my education did not end way back then.  My grandson just gave me that huge tome I did not read in 1989 when it won a Pulitzer Prize, Godel, Escher, Bach. I'm going to have a good at it.  I have not yet read Proust, that hole in my reading may never be plugged.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June, Congratulations, what a great average to maintain over all those years. With over 3000 books read you either have a fantastic home library or you have been a regular member of local libraries. And to think you are also busy making marvelous quilts too. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Twice, I've sold off my books,in fact, before moving from NYC I GAVE away nearly all my books and now, when I finish anything except a reference type book I give it away immediately. Thus I have a bookcase of to-read books and about an equal number of must keep.