Reading challenges loom out of the winter mists – tempting with siren calls. I am so weak-willed I cannot resist them and follow where they lead me. But before I do I must put this year to rest.
It began well enough – I was feeling all fired up not only to write but to read as well. All the challenges seemed like easy stuff and so they should have been. I am a reader, always have been hopefully always will be. Wed believe these things to be unmovable truths – well I am here to tell you they are not. One need certain factors to be in place for reading to happen.
Ignore the obvious and concentrate on those we take for granted.
Health matters. I know, I know, the sniffles puts us to bed and we enjoy a comfortable ‘favourite’ with our hot toddy. But serious health issues – there a whole new problem.
I had heart failure 4 months into the year. Heartbeat waaaay to slow. Pulse around 45, BP low. Lungs drowning in fluid seeping from the blood that couldn’t be pumped around the body. Oxygen to brain lowered – er that last is a downer, how does one think without oxygen? one doesn’t.
I slept most of the summer away. 5-7 hours during the day – 7-8 at night. deep sleep. Not much time left after dragging oneself around the usual business of living to read. However there was time and I thought I would race through the challenges.
Something else happens when the heart cannot deliver – it cannot keep up with the chemical changes produced in stressful situations. We know that stress produces reaction chemicals, fight or flight etc. What most of us probably didn’t know was that artificial stress is the same as real stress to the body. If one reads a book that is sad and makes you cry, is full of fear and anger and you feel the same (we all want to read books that do that to us) then your body produces those chemicals. I could not write or read any emotional book for 8 months; if I did I could not breathe. The only emotional book I could manage was a funny book. So my Terry Pratchet challenge went really well:)
I am hoping 2013 will prove more successful.
Most of these were read before June when my health really plumated.
So how did I succeed at my 2012 challenges? I didn’t fail by so much that I won’t participate again. Foolish old lady, moi.
I failed the two classic challenges 6 out 0f 9 and 6 out of7 . NO
The Chunkster challenge 8 out of 10.No
The Sir Terry Prachett challenge went very well with 11 books read. YES
The Mount TBR I managed 21 instead of 11 so def. YES (this of course was because many of the other books on other challenges such as Terry Pratchet were on my TBR pile)
Telling Tales 9 instead of 5. YES
And Tea and Books 4 out of 4. YES
And over at Goodreads I sailed past my 52 books in a year goal.
I can read again and so will gather up some more challenges for 2013. Never learn do I:)