Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's old is new

Definition of RENOVATE

transitive verb
1: to restore to a former better state
2: to restore to life, vigor, or activity : revive

I spent New Year's Eve at a house that is being renovated. The space was exactly what we needed that night: open and messy. I decided that a good theme for 2012 would be "renovation."

Today I embarked the first project of my renovation: Go back to what was working before (see definition 1).

I was tallying my reading list for 2011 and it came to a measly thirty books. Most years I read around forty books. But before the internet and reality television, I used to read at least a book a week. On vacation, I would read a book a day. At work, when I got caught up, out would come a book, and at night I would read myself to sleep. Now? The computer and the television take up way too much of the time I used to read.

See that wall of books in the photograph? My husband said to me one day, "I can't believe you've read all those books!" I replied, "Those are the ones I haven't read." And although that is a slight exaggeration (half the books are books I've read, textbooks, children's books, cookbooks, travel books), there are some darn good books waiting for me on those shelves.

Today I wasn't feeling well and stayed in bed and read. I finished one long book and read an entire other one. I haven't done that in a long time because my writing and photographs take a lot of my free time, but I'm going to make more time for reading. I'm going to quit wasting time on mindless browsing and nosing into other folks' business on reality television and get back to what made me feel like I'd accomplished something: reading sixty books in a year.

We try to discard bad habits - I've purged a few from my life in the past few years - but sometimes we discard a good habit too. And now, I'm going to bed to read. Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. I'm starting at the A's....


Anonymous said...

Sixty books in one year?!? Oh my stars, that is quite impressive! Good on ya, Mamie! My hubbster is a super duper uber book worm. Our apartment is filled to the brim with his books, and he's pretty much read all of them. It is amazing.

mamie said...

Ally, reading makes me happy and we tend to do what makes us happy in an excessive way, right? Another thing I'm trying to do is not hang on to the books I've read. That has taken some willpower too!