Time Flies (Reading Challenge Week #6)

I can barely believe this is the sixth week of this already! How is it almost Valentine’s Day?! I can’t complain about my progress at all, it’s just that time is flying by so fast. I suddenly realize had I wanted to make a particular book my “valentine” as a theme for the blog, I already missed the chance! I don’t think I had anything that really fits the bill though. We all know I don’t read anything romantic and I devoured all the bloody goodness that would make for a good gothy Valentine theme ages ago. Ah well, something to keep in mind when I get the paints out tomorrow!

This week I started a book that ended up being a bit too heavy for my stressed out mood, and switched to another that is technically a re-read (there are four in all) but one I included because I wanted to read with my new virology-educated perspective: The Hot Zone. Previously it was among my favorite books, but re-reading it now I see very easily why it gets the heavy sighs it does from experts. I’ve spent a lot of time learning about virology in the past few years and I’m much more able to see how the book plays fast and loose with how viruses work. Definitely didn’t scare me this go-round, except with the realization that sensationalism will always outsell plain (boring) facts.

There’s not a lot to say about this project this week. I find myself sort of scrambling around for something else to talk about. I faced no temptation this week, except there were a few times I didn’t feel like reading anymore that day. There have been other things I’ve wanted to do. Fortunately this week’s book was a speedy read and I didn’t have to put much effort in. On the other hand, I didn’t learn much other than I’ve changed a lot in the past ten or so years. (Who hasn’t?) Is 70 pages of scandalous read as worthwhile as 20 pages you actually learned from?

Maybe it is. I think it depends on if you’re reading for entertainment or reading to learn. I do both, but I keep my “fun” reads a pretty small ratio of what I read to push myself educationally or to see a new perspective. I’m much more about concerts or movies for escapism. Loud, musical, flashy, colors,lights. I can’t really get lost without that. Two entirely different realms of experience. Bring me your quietly crocheted chains of words to burn into my brain, searing a new neural pathway – or bring me your sweaty, pulse-pounding guitar riffs in a dark club on a Saturday night to turn the thinking off. Reality and transcendence. Work and release.

I read to be a better person. To learn about the past, the future, the fields of work I would have loved to have gone into in another life. I read to understand lives outside my own. I read to hear the magnificent turns of phrase echo through my head. I read to understand everything that’s happening, now or ever – knowing I can never know it all and there is no 100% complete. I don’t read to feel. I have other passions for that.

What’s on tap to learn next? I’m not sure. I haven’t started the next book yet! Guess I’ll have to let you know this time next week!

Stats, Week 6(change from last week)

Books completed (total): 5 (+1)

Books to go: 55 (-1)

Pages read (total): 2054 (+442)

Pages to go: 20704 (-442)

Pages per day: 52.67 (+2.29)

Pages per day to complete entire goal by end of year: 63.51 (+0.01)

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