For each of the past few years I have enjoyed the January wave of reading challenge resolutions that pop up on literature blogs around the world. These, I think, are far more sustainable than most New Year resolutions and ultimately, more rewarding. Yet each year, apart from the goal of a book a week, I have found myself saying of all those challenges: ‘I’ll do that next year’. I have kept a record of books completed in the back of my journal each year for the past decade, but that’s about as far as my organisational skills have extended. I love to read. And I love a challenge. While I know we should judge our reading by the quality of the material rather than the quantity, from this year (2015), I will be attempting to read 100 books between January 1 and December 31 of any given year.
I think that goal will be more attainable if I combine a few smaller challenges, the specific details of which I will include in the posts to come. But one of the stipulations of many of these challenges (at least those that encourage online participation) is that you review the books you read on your blog, linking back to the host site with your progress. So that is the impetus for this blog. But it has been a long time coming and will hopefully perform a number of functions, some of which are outlined here:
1 – I aim to review the books I read, regularly update my reading challenge progress and post links to other literary blogs of interest, as well as quotes, bookish news and literary delicacies from whatsoever source each springs.
2 – It will be a space in which to review some of the hikes I do. I’ll endeavour to post images, maps and trail data for those interested in completing the walks themselves.
3 – I’d also like to conduct reviews of the National Parks I visit. I live on the border of a National Park, so given my current student status, initially these reviews my be a little Blue Mountains centric, but eventually I will renew the travel fund and be able to wander further afield, and in the meantime I can back catalogue reviews of some of the fantastic NPs I have visited in recent years.
4 – I have kept a ‘wandering’ log, recording instances of wandering that I have encountered in all the books I have read since I commenced my PhD three years ago, so I will try and find new and interesting ways of representing that data over the months and years to come.
5 – I am currently in training to walk the Bibbulman track in Western Australia, a 1000km footpath that leads from Kalamunda, just east of Perth, down through the south-western forests and along the coast to Albany. That will be followed by the Pyrenees Traverse on the border of France and Spain, then the Appalachian Trail in the U.S. This planned year of walking is to be my ‘gift to self’ for finishing my PhD, when that day finally arrives… Then I guess I’ll write about the experiences…
Anyway, enough about me. I’d love to hear your tales. Leave me a book or hike recommendation, or your own ‘booknboot’ story in the comments below.