Despite the fact that I gave myself a fairly short list this spring, I still surprised myself by actually finishing all of the books on it.
Oh, the fiction was fine — I breezed through all of that by the end of April. But the nonfiction…well, there’s nothing else to say except that I was a real nonfiction slacker this spring. But over the past two weeks, I didn’t allow myself to read any fiction at all, simply so that I would actually finish my Spring Reading Thing nonfiction. And I did! Hooray!
I have to say, I enjoyed all of the books on my list. No book was boring, no book made me want to put it down and never pick it up again (as, admittedly, sometimes happens). I honestly just enjoyed a very pleasant spring of reading, and I hope you did the same!
One thing that stood out to me was that I read more than half of my SRT books on my Kindle. I still love (love!) “real books,” but the convenience, portability, price, and ease of reading on my Kindle has definitely swayed my overall reading more in that direction. I love having 10 or 20 books in my purse at once — all on the Kindle. And while I spent four weeks this spring at physical therapy, working on my elbow, I took my Kindle with me each time. I spent every heating and icing period — and a good part of the time in between — reading.
One of the most “quotable” books I read this spring was Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson. It’s a book for writers (primarily Christian writers, though there’s plenty there for any and all writers), and Wilson has a knack for pithy sayings and memorable phrases. Some of the things I noted:
Writing ability is a developed and honed skill, and the more you develop and hone it, the more of it you will have. Writing as well as you can in every setting is the way to have reserves to draw on when it comes to writing for publication.
When you write a page and delete the whole thing, there is a sense in which it is not deleted. The better writer who remained behind is still there.
Reading lousy books is occasionally edifying, but do not make a practice of it. Life is short.
Productivity is more a matter of diligent, long-distance hiking than it is one hundred- yard dashing. Doing a little bit now is far better than hoping to do a lot on the morrow. So redeem the fifteen minute spaces. Chip away at it.
Go for total tonnage, and read like someone who will forget most of it. You have my permission to forget most of it, which may or may not be reassuring, but you will forget most of it in either case…The fact that you can’t remember things doesn’t mean that you haven’t been shaped by them.
So, in summary: I read (or completed) the original nine books on my Spring Reading Thing 2012 list. I also read another four or five novels while I was busy ignoring my nonfiction. All in all, a good spring!
Don’t forget to visit the official wrap-up list to see how other participants did.