“You can’t” Heraclitus said, “step into the same river twice.” The same also applies to reviewing books on Goodreads. I met my official pledge of 60 books “officially” a couple weeks back, but I had re-read two books already reviewed during the course of the previous month, so I’m actually up to 65 at the moment. Not that this is a contest. Well, it sorta is. But the one thing that keeps coming back to me is that my reviews of the same book change after a couple of years. In general I’m not a re-reader. There are lots of books I want to read for the first time, and there are few, historically, that I’ve gone back and read again. Right now, however, I’m working on a couple of books that require some going back and checking facts. Whenever you write “X does not” you need to make sure X doesn’t.
Reading is a self-rewarding enterprise. I’ve not stopped reading when I don’t post about books, but I’ve been reading bigger books. Despite my academic background and current job as an editor, I’m a slow reader. I always have been. I set my Goodreads goal based on the fact that without commuting I hope to read five books a month. I have to throw in some short ones to make such a goal, and I never count the children’s books (I read The Lorax several times this year) and I can’t count the books I read for work that haven’t yet been published. Nevertheless I keep making my Goodreads pledge—it gives me a goal I can attain—and in a life where meeting goals is becoming more difficult all the time, I appreciate those I enjoy reaching. Enjoy reading.
Goodreads is a community. Some of my friends there comment on my blog posts, which is really neat because almost nobody comments on my blog itself. It’s nice to have that little extra extension. I skim through the reviews that come to my email inbox every day. I like to know what others are reading and I get tips for future goals from the books my Goodreads’ buddies post. And now that November looms—and over its shoulder I can see December—I think of the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge. I generally meet that goal by about September. Reading books is like meeting new friends. And some of them, unlike Heraclitus’ river, you can meet twice.