It was in 2017 that I gave myself a reading challenge for the first time in my life. I challenged myself to read 50 books and I managed to read, very successfully, 53. Then followed 20188 where I increased the number of books to 60 but by the time December came, I halted at 54. On January 1st, 2019, I challenged myself again to read 60 books but I clearly do not see that happening.
2019 has been a slow year for me–in terms of everything including reading. I entered the year with a reading slump and soon after took a short trip with the family–the kind that doesn’t allow for much reading time. This was at the end of February. Most of March was spent shuffling things at work and while I had managed to read about 3 or 4 books in all this time, it was April that ruined it for me.
With the month of April came another major depressive episode in my life hitting me right in the chest. I took a sabbatical from work, paused all my responsibilities, and distanced myself from all my relationships. For two months the only thing I did was lie in bed, cry, over-think, and stare at the ceiling.
But then came a Book Fair in my small little town where my dearest brother took me with the promise that I could buy as many books as I wanted. (He knows how to make me feel better.) After a tug of war with my mind, I convinced myself to leave the comforts of my bed, dressed up, and went to the book fair that was going to get me out of my reading slump. (Does it matter that the first thing I bought there was in fact a set of 13-in-1 board games?)
And so I returned home with some Franz Kafka, some Chitra Banerjee, some Bronte sisters, a Mitch Alborn, and some Jane Austen. And the one book that attracted me the most at the point (given that I was suicidal and everything) was The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Alborn. This is the book that got me out of my reading slump. It was an easy read, interesting, and sure does close the loop on the story towards the end.
While the depression is still heavy–the will to get out of bed and do something worthy with nowhere to be found, it has failed to take my reading away from me. I am reading my 9th book of the year as I write this and even though it may not count for much for someone, it is a sweet little achievement for me.