2017 Reading Goals

Dear reader,

I should start this post by saying Happy New Year! & welcome to my reading diary. I hope 2017 has been treating you well for the last 14 days. It has not been too bad for me. Like everyone else, I have been thinking a lot about my plans for the new year and making resolutions like crazy. For the most part they are simple – save more money, travel more, learn to speak/read/write Korean, be a better person, start a business (properly) and pay attention to your blog.

Those last four words are the reason I am sitting in bed at 23:50 writing to you. I love reading and I enjoy talking to people about what I have read or the books I am planning to read. This year I have decided to make a better effort to share my love of reading with people. I hope to write more this year and encourage people who do not read to really give it a go. Another prayer of mine is that through this blog, I will be able to make some friends who enjoy books as much as I do.

With that said, I want to share my 2017 reading goals with you. This year, I hope to:

Read 100 books – Yes that is rather ambitious and frankly I am already behind schedule but I plan to get my act together and smash this goal. Wish me luck.

Read More Non-Fiction – I have mentioned before that one of the reasons I love reading is because I learn so much from books. Last year I read and enjoyed a few non-fiction books and I would very much like for that trend to continue. My favourite non-fiction book was “The More of Less” by Joshua Becker and I adored it so much. I recommend it to everyone.

Only Buy 12 Hard copy Books – Yup! You read that right. I am putting a limit on how many Hard copy books I buy. I am trying to adopt minimalism into my lifestyle (thanks to The More of Less) so I  can’t just buy a ton of books. Storage is fast becoming an issue and frankly my bank account will thank me later. I can still buy kindle books so life is not going to be too hard. The main plan for reading is to borrow more books from my local library.

Blog Every Week – I can do this right? I can totally organise myself in such a way that I actually write my bookish thoughts down and share them on my blog. I only have to do it 52 times right? Psh it’s a piece of cake. I can totally do this. I am a grown woman, I can do anything! (Oh, in case you were wondering, that was me pep-talking my reflection. Let us all pray that I get my act together and actually accomplish this one, never mind that I am already 2 weeks behind)

That’s it for my 2017 reading goals. There are only 4. I thought keeping the list short would help me to stay on track. Now that I have shared them with you, it is your job to keep me accountable. If you don’t, I will just blame it all on you if I fail them. But of course that won’t happen because you are good friends right?

Until the next page.

X

Lydia

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Why I Read Vol.1

There are several reasons why people all over the world love to read. There are also reasons why some people hate to read, but because I can’t relate, I will not be talking about them. I have always enjoyed reading but recently, my love for this hobby has grown considerably. I think it all started after I made the conscious decision to join my local library so I could read more books for free. (Let me tell you, my bank account does not appreciate my revamped love for books). Well fast forward a few months and….

I thought it would be a good idea to share with the internet some of the reasons why I read. I will be writing a series of posts talking about why I think reading is so awesome & why we should all fall in love with it.

It’s is all about Learning.

I find that, it is almost impossible to read a book without learning something – anything. I always learn a thing or two about myself, the world or a situation when I read. Through my personal experience, I believe that many an ignorant mind or idea can be changed through the simple act of picking up and reading a book.

Through fictional characters, I have been exposed to the joys, pains and complications that other people who live in this world face, and I have learned to empathise with them & think to myself: “what would I do if that happened to me?”

Stories about history, war, illness, love and sacrifice have opened up my mind to the experiences of other people like nothing else can.

Allow me to explain; you have probably heard about the book – Me Before You. It was very popular this summer & has now been adapted into a Hollywood movie. The story highlights the highly controversial topic of paraplegic assisted dying. A topic that is very far removed from my own life. In fact, before reading this book, I was quite sure of which side of the debate I favoured. After reading the book, my position on the topic has not changed but my attitude towards it has. I moved from an unfeeling disconnected black and white position to one of compassion and sympathy towards the people for whom this dilemma is a real life issue. I can now see that for many – many people living all over the world, this it is not an easy question to answer and instead of prejudging or assuming things about their situation, I need to be more sympathetic and even empathetic to the gravity of the decision that they face. Because I have not had to walk a mile in their shoes & life is truly a difficult struggle for them. This change happened because I read a book. There are other topics that I have been ignorant about & reading a fiction book has opened my eyes to my own self-righteous nature. I can happily say that thanks to books, I am less ignorant than I used to be.

There are millions of books published each year about all sorts of subjects. I recently read a book about minimalism that motivated and challenged me to de-clutter and tidy up my life. It is by far one of my favourite reads of 2016. I never thought minimalism could be for me. Once again I had my own preconceptions about something & reading helped me to change my mind & develop for the better. As the saying goes, Change is growth and Growth is Good.

To read is to expose yourself to so much of the greatness that this world has to offer and that is the reason I read.

Until the Next page.

X Lydia

 

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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Book Review

This week, fans of J. R. R Tolkien celebrated world hobbit day on the 22nd September. Hobbit Day is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two characters in Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
I thought there was no better time to write up my thoughts on one of my favourite recent reads; The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring.

I read this book about a month ago and was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I have been told by several people that the book was boring and difficult to read but my personal experience of it was completely different.

I immediately felt the sense of adventure at the beginning of the story. These hobbits go from the frying pan into the fire and then back into the frying pan again, there is never a dull moment.
Mr Tolkien includes humour in a way that allowed me to relax whilst waiting for something that is fantastically EPIC in its nature to unfold before my eyes – this was brilliantly done. I was smiling for half the time and please don’t think I didn’t laugh out loud a few times because I did.

The writing was easy to read. I knew that something great was in the works and Tolkien set up his characters and their universe like only a genius could. His characters are vivid and individual and I found myself thinking “oh shut up Sam!” or “for crying out loud Frodo!”

I enjoyed reading it so much that I cannot remember if there was anything negative to say about the book.
I gave it 5 stars on good reads because it deserves that and much more. If anyone is thinking about picking this story up, I would tell them to do it!
I hope they enjoy it as much as I did. Can’t wait to read the second book!

X Lydia

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Lit! – Book Review

  I just finished reading Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Written by Tony Reinke.

I mentioned in my introduction that I am a Christian and after reading this book, I think it’s perfect for my very first book review.

So let’s talk about why I picked up this book in the first place and what I hoped to gain from reading it. I am a passionate Christian and lately I have been thinking of how I can honour God more in the things that I enjoy doing; that is why I picked up Lit! I wanted some information on what God thinks about the types of books I read. As a book lover, of course I went and found a book on the topic. I came to this book expecting it to describe a list of books/genres that Christians should and shouldn’t read.

That is not what I got. In this book, I found a wonderful well thought out argument on the meaning and importance of reading as a person. The pleasure of reading was never denied and I think Tony did a great job of explaining the importance of Christians enjoying books, not just Christian books but all kinds of non-faith based books.

Another thing I liked about it is the emphasis on scripture. Tony did not shy away from saying: Yo! You need to read your bible – don’t ignore scripture in pursuit of pleasure. This was so key to me. In a world where there are so many pleasurable distractions, the value of God’s word can easily be forgotten. Lit! constantly reminded me of that importance and I love it for that. The first part deals about the “theology” of reading. The second on “How to read”.

I personally enjoyed the author’s voice in this book. His writing was easy to read and not at all tedious. His inclusion of references from other authors was frequent but not out of place. The quotes used illustrated his points brilliantly. I mean if someone else has already said it brilliantly why struggle to paraphrase?

Did the book meet my expectations? No. It didn’t tell me what to read and what not to read. It did however refresh my mind and make me think about why I love reading. Pointing to scripture as the light by which all other books are to be read was a good lesson to learn. The book also contains chapters on how to get other people into reading and different ways that books can be read. A “how to read books section” so to speak.

Like I said, if you are looking for a list of do’s and don’ts then this is not the book for you.  This book motivated and challenged me to think about reading in a way that I never have before and I love it for that reason alone.

I will be reading this book again. I am certain of it.

 I gave it 4 stars on goodreads.

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By Way of Introduction

Hello!

Before I write more, I would like to give a disclaimer.

Introductions are not my favourite thing to write. I find them a little intimidating; the pressure for them to be a great read is frightening. So if you are reading this, I want you to know that I will be keeping it as simple as possible. So here goes…

My name is Lydia & this is my blog.

Thank you so much for stopping by – and reading.

I am a reading enthusiast and my love for all things book related is the reason for this blog. I read a lot and I love nothing more than talking about the books I have read.

I want to tell you that my reading tastes are varied but I am afraid that reality will not confirm this. I am partial to the fiction and fantasy genres, I never read horror or erotica and generally, autobiographies do not tickle my fancy. I read my bible and other Christian books too and I’m looking forward to discussing my bookish likes and pet peeves on this blog of mine.

 The challenge that this blog poses to me is a huge one. Whilst it is an avenue for me to express my thoughts and feelings on the books I read, I’m hoping that it will also serve as a motivating factor to spread my wings and fly – or should I say open my eyes and read. I look forward to being daring and reading books that I would never ordinarily pick up.

Three words that describe me:

 Passionate. Enthusiastic. Creative

I look forward to turning pages with you! If you got this far, you are amazing.

Thanks for reading!

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