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.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!