a book list...or maybe not

it's a snow day today, so i have time and some motivation to blog! we'll see how this "living intentionally" thing goes when i don't have a schedule to follow.

today i finished writing my book list from 2010. i started writing it in august or so, and i had to think back in order to list the books i read in 2010. i'm sure i'm missing a few, but i definitely remembered the epic ones i read (east of eden, a tree grows in brooklyn, the book thief, gilead, ender's game, and i'm going to stop now). i counted up the books i read. there were 34, plus 16 books of the Bible. i wonder how much of that reading can be attributed to subbing...

i am caught at a crossroads. i love reading. i love burying myself in a good story, or reading for information (my interest in non-fiction books has skyrocketed since marrying philip--i'm not sure if there's a correlation there or not). i spend my days getting kids interested in books, talking to them about books, encouraging them to read more, and checking off reading logs. isn't reading the greatest thing?

but...i was chatting with a co-worker yesterday about our school possibly doing a media fast or at least trimming down our personal media use. she mentioned that she wished her son (in my homeroom) would go on a book fast. my initial reaction was "that's crazy! if kids are reading, don't try to stop them!" however, her son reads to the exclusion of almost everything else: sports, conversation, and schoolwork. her complaint was that he doesn't spend any time creating or living in THIS world. he chooses a passive activity over an active one.

i guess that didn't bother me because i tend to be the same way. i watched way too much tv when i was younger, and it always bothered me that whenever friends would stop by, i would be curled up in a chair, fixated on the screen. i congratulated myself when i watched less tv and read five times as much. isn't that a great step?

yes and no. i'm still a fairly passive person. i choose to escape through story, whether in book or movie or tv show. i spend more time being entertained (even by books!) than actively entertaining myself through being outdoors, trying something new, being creative in the kitchen, etc.

here i am, with an unexpected day off from school, and already i've finished one book and picked up another. plus i have plans to watch an old favorite movie this morning. i feel torn. i enjoy having time to just sit around, but it seems that's my only goal. how fast can i get home, change into pjs and sheepskin slippers, and pick up a book? my goal seems to be comfort.

when i think about it, i don't like that very much. if comfort is my only goal, i'm in for a pretty boring life. and a disappointing one.

i'd still like to read a lot this year. i've started six books in the last few months that i'd like to actually finish, and there's always more on my list to get to. however, i may balance the reading out this year with some exercise, cooking, writing, or painting.

and maybe i'll reward myself with an old favorite movie once i've done something active or creative.


  1. An interesting post. You know very well that I'm the same way when it comes to books. Though lately I've found that I tend to read more while I eat breakfast and before I go to bed, rather than spending, say, an entire evening reading. So perhaps I've become a little more balanced. :)

    Another thought: I don't know if I would equate reading books with comfort, necessarily. In some cases, yes, definitely. But when you're reading about global climate change or the corporate food system--well, those certainly aren't comfortable topics. Perhaps the challenge is to spend less time reading AS AN ESCAPE, and to be intentional about spending more time exercising, being outside, being creative, etc., as well as reading books that challenge or grow you in some way.

    p.s. I really like the new blog, and the topics you're writing about. I might have to make some changes to my blog, too. :)

  2. Good thoughts and interesting points. I'm thinking that you may have come by this tendency somewhat naturally -- from both the paternal and maternal sides.

  3. I like it, Andrea. I've recently noticed how passively I live my life too. As my sister says, "Agreeing with God and living as the person He says you are is part of growing up." Don't know what that means yet, but I'm working on it. ;-) I just found an interesting blog by Don Miller on a similar subject:

  4. First I saw your changes to your blog..enjoyed reading it!