WEEK ONE

BOOKS REMAINING:  50

Welcome along on my journey!

This morning, an article entitled “50 Books Every Woman Should Read Before She Turns 40” appeared in the news feed of featured stories on my MSN homepage when I opened the Internet after sitting down at my desk at work as a secretary at a law firm, at which time my original purpose was to view locations and menu information for a restaurant I tried yesterday evening with two members of my knitting group.  (The Big Cheezy, in case you’re curious, which serves creative twists on grilled cheese sandwiches and the best sweet potato fries I ever had).  Today is Thursday, April 28, 2016, 50 weeks to the day before my 40th birthday which will occur on Thursday, April 13, 2017.  Despite my husband’s cynical reminder that my computer contains technology enabling it to store my browsing history and “know” me, and despite the fact that I am generally an extremely pragmatic individual, it was too much of a coincidence to ignore.  I mean, how could the computer know that TODAY is EXACTLY 50 weeks before the deadline by which the article believes I should read each of these books?

So, I am undertaking to read each of these books before my birthday.

I’m not doing this because I expect to experience any kind of intense enlightenment or deep personal revelations or anything like that.  Or because I necessarily think these books will provide crucial insights essential for every woman before she reaches the age of 40.  That’s the opinion of Good Housekeeping and does not necessarily reflect the views of this writer.  I’m sure these books will entertain me at times, and they will give me things to ponder at other times, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

I’m not doing this because have a big complex about turning 40, either.  Age is so relative.  It’s like 40 really is the new 30.  I don’t feel like I’m almost 40, and I don’t look it either.  Since my husband and I don’t have children (unless you count the four-legged kind), I never quite shifted into that next phase of life that comes with parenthood.

The reason I am doing this, is just because it happened to pop up on the Internet at a certain time.  And I decided to write a blog about it because if I am going to go through all the effort, especially the effort to read books that might be less personally enjoyable and outside my norm of murder mysteries and other escapist-type fiction, I think I should do something more than just read the books.  Do I expect a movie deal and a new career as a columnist?  Wishful thinking.  Will I make a few friends along the way?  I hope so.  Will I feel like I accomplished something?  That is my intention.

I have always been a steady reader, although at times more voracious than others, and to earn my English degree often required reading assignments of over 100 pages to be completed within two days, so for me an average of one book a week should be challenging but not impossible.  When brought down to a science, even if the books average 350 pages apiece, if I read 50 pages each day (approximately a 30-45 minute commitment), I will finish them all within the next 50 weeks.  Even while holding down a full-time job and a freelance job, pursuing my knitting addiction, participating on a dance team, attempting to prevent my house from turning into a federal disaster area, and spending time at the gym so that my pizza habit doesn’t land me on an episode of “My 600-lb. Life.”  Diet and exercise goals notwithstanding, I am pretty good at achieving things prior to deadlines.  (Knit two mermaid tail blankets between Halloween and Christmas?  No sweat!)  I expect some books will only take me a day or two, others might take two weeks, and it will balance out in the long run.  I have my handy e-reader which, while making my purse feel as though it is made of lead, fits in my handbag so it can come with me to appointments, while on the treadmill, and anywhere else I might desire to squeeze in a chapter.  (Although unfortunately we do not have the luxury of adequate public transportation in greater New Orleans, to allow for me to read during my commute).  Now that I have been at the law firm for just over six years, I am up to three whole weeks of paid time off so I will have a few vacations and “mental health days” throughout the next 50 weeks for extra reading.  Not to mention, the 50 weeks will be capped off by the trip of a lifetime to Ireland for my milestone birthday, so I will have several hours on a plane just as I am coming down to the wire  Unless I decide to take an Ambien and sleep through it.

I have already read a number of these books, but it was several years ago — or more than several years ago — so I think I will need to re-read them in order to comment on them.  I shall fully disclose all re-reads.  I intend to read the books in order, since I don’t have any better method, but in case I have to get holds on certain items I might not have a choice but to skip ahead to the next title that is available.  Since I would rather spend money on clothes, shoes, yarn and/or pizza, I will do my best to obtain each book for free from the library even if I do have to wait for some of them, but I expect I may need to buy a few.

As I get started I am also going to have to try to squeeze in the two books I presently have checked out from the library, and I might try to keep up with new books released during the next 50 weeks from the authors I follow religiously.  Fun stuff.  I’m off.  Wish me luck. Here I go!

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