(This is a post I posted a couple days ago on another blog, but I decided to move it here.)
I spent the greater part of today working with books: making a list of all the books I've read in 2011, cataloging my own personal library of books, and the like. I started out this year with the goal of reading 25 books in 2011, and... well, I read 53. I am quite pleased.
Looking over the list of books I finished this year, there were a couple of themes that stood out. I read 32 fiction books and 20 nonfiction books. I read more YA fiction this year than in all previous years combined -- mostly thanks to Scott Westerfeld, since I discovered his Leviathan trilogy early this year, which lead me to read his Uglies series while waiting for Goliath to come out. I also read a number of dystopias, from Brave New World to The Hunger Games. G. K. Chesterton was probably my favorite author that I read this year. I discovered him in 2010 when I read his biography of Charles Dickens. This year I continued my journey through Chesterton with Orthodoxy, The Flying Inn, The Man Who Was Thursday, Heretics, and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Chesterton is the kind of person that makes me wish I could steal his brain and make it my own. His writing style is gorgeous, and the thoughts he has are so profound.
While it's tempting to see if I can read even more books in 2012, I think I'm going to take a different approach. Instead of aiming for a number, I'd rather have the luxury of taking my time reading a book, choosing longer books to read, or rereading books. In my eternal quest to improve as a writer, I want to examine the works of my favorite authors in detail to see what I can learn from them.
And as a rather odd resolution, I've decided I'd like to dive into the Christian fantasy genre. It came to my attention as I scanned the fiction shelves at Family Christian Bookstore the other day that, even though I think of Christian fantasy as the genre I'd like to write it, I haven't actually read that much of it. So I plan to begin my journey with Donita K. Paul's DragonSpell and see where it takes me from there.