2017 Reading Challenge: The Half-Way Point | Growing Up Herbal | Just a little update on how I got into reading and how my book reading challenge is going so far this year!

I’ve never really been what you’d call a “bookworm.” Sure, growing up, I read and enjoyed books, but I really only read most of them because I had to.

My first introduction to reading really good books came in high school in my AP English class (these are high school classes you can take that give you college credits) when we had to read books like Madam Bovary, Beowolf, The Canterbury Tales, The Great Gatsby, etc.. I enjoyed reading all of these books, and although I didn’t make reading a daily habit, I definitely wanted to read more books like these. There was something about them that was different from any other book I’d read up until that point. I felt like I’d learned something. Like I’d experienced different lives from different perspectives. It was a good feeling.

Later on in high school, I came across a few books that weren’t required readings, but they seemed interesting so I chose to read them. First was The Joy Luck Club. I loved this book so much that I bought the movie and watched it over and over and over. The next was The Hobbit. Who doesn’t love J.R.R. Tolkin? After that was the book Oral History. It was a banned book in my school, but I snuck a copy while my teacher turned a blind eye! It’s set in the Appalachian region where I live, and I was intrigued because it was about home… of course, the banned part had nothing to do with my curiosity! 😉 So, I devoured it, and it opened my heart to the books and stories of the Appalachias… which I still love.

Then came college and I had no time for reading anything other than my nursing textbooks.

Next, came four pregnancies when I had lots of time to read. During this time, I was introduced to the world of book series. I read the Twilight saga, the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games trilogy, and I started the Divergent series. I enjoyed them all, and of course, the movies were great too. Then I was introduced to the world of Outlander which I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the story line, and I can relate to the main character in a lot of ways. However, there are some themes in these books that are just not my thing. Beyond book series, I was also reading a good bit of parenting and business books at this time as well.

Then came homeschooling, classical education, and Charlotte Mason.

At this season of my life, most of my reading is to my children, but I’m loving everything we read. Our homeschool curriculum is packed full of “living books,” and the boys and I are learning and experiencing so much from these. In fact, our book reading is our favorite parts of our homeschool day. So even if the boys are bored from their spine book lessons (that’s their textbook lessons), they know that some fun book reading is coming up next and that always gives them something to look forward to. In fact, during our 2016-2017 homeschool year, we read around 30 of these books! Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s spread out over 36 weeks and not too bad, especially if you enjoy it!

2017 Reading Challenge: The Half-Way Point | Growing Up Herbal | Just a little update on how I got into reading and how my book reading challenge is going so far this year!

Then, in March of this year, I saw that a new Facebook friend had been doing a yearly reading challenge for the past couple years, and I was intrigued.

I hadn’t really been reading much for myself… I mean, who has time when you homeschool your kids and you use a reading-heavy curriculum?! Nonetheless, I’m always up for a challenge, and since I had several books that I’d started an not finished, I decided I would take this challenge on myself. 

I figured that I could start small and go slow so I chose to read 12 books in 2017. One book a month seemed reasonable, especially since I’m already reading a lot of other books as well. You can see my book list below.

2017 Reading Challenge: The Half-Way Point | Growing Up Herbal | Just a little update on how I got into reading and how my book reading challenge is going so far this year!

The top three books were all ones I had started but not finished so I started over with each of these, reading them one at a time. It took me about a month and a half to finish these. Next I read #11 which is one of the books on my kid’s reading list, but it looked interesting so I decided to read it. After that, I read #8-9, and I’m currently reading #10 with a little bit of #12 mixed in here and there.

So, it’s June… the half-way point in the year. I’ve read 6 books which is pretty good, considering I only started in March. I’ve enjoyed each of the books I’ve read so far. I’ve got 6 more to go, and I’m excited to get into some of these other books (as I find the time, of course). I do think I’m planning on cutting #5 from the list. I heard it was written in play form, and I’m just not feeling up for that at the moment. I think I may put in Daring Greatly or Gifts of Imperfection, both by Brene Brown, in it’s place. I’ve heard lots of good things about that one so we’ll see.

So now it’s your turn!

Do you like to read? If so, do you have a favorite genre, or do you read a little of all of it? Do you have a yearly reading list or maybe even a summer one? What are you reading right now? I’d love to hear more about your favorite books, and if you have any suggestions for really great books (old or new), I’d love to hear them. I’ll be making my 2018 reading challenge list sooner than later, and I’ll be needing some inspiration!