The year started with at least one resolution. It was a very firm wish to read at least one book a month. Read in the sense, read, not skim, not do selected reading.

I do borrow heaps of books from the library with the intention to gain wisdom from them. Alas! I hardly have the time to even skim through them. Right now, as of today, I have 51 books on my book shelf that belongs to the library.

But anyways, those books, were never meant to be read as such. Not from back to back – at least most of them.

I did borrow a number of books for light reading, with every intention to read back to back.

In January I read Love in the present tense. I remember having a good feeling about that book. Didn’t take that long to complete reading it. The way it was written and weaved kept me captivated.

I still remember my first lesson about love. Not forever love, but the other kind, the kind people use every day. The kind that only works with grown-ups. The kind that always seems to self-destruct after a while.
Really it’s the opposite of forever love when you think about it. It’s more like a time bomb, and the only real question is how the clock is set. How long it will tick before the explosion.

I’m looking at a star. I can feel the cuffs behind me, and I try to rub my wrists where the cuffs are cutting and hurting. But I really can’t.

I’m not over my shoulder anymore. That’s too bad. I thought that would keep up. This is a bad place for that to leave me…

In February I read The hidden messages in water. Not a back to back kind of a book. Yet I found it fascinating with its pictures.

In March I completed the Precious gifts. Not a bad choice, but not the best literary work. It was a quick read as I wanted to find out how the life unfolds for the characters as the story progresses.

In May I completed reading Unbowed: a memoir. I bought the book long time back on recommendation from a dear friend. Life intervened with its busy schedule and I didn’t manage to complete reading it – shelved it for future reading. Easy to shelf especially when it belongs to you isn’t it? Anyways, this year I had reason to revisit it again – I found the book here in a library and requested it through inter library loan. Read it back to back until the very last word on the cover too.

In June – I started reading Colloquial Amharic. I know it’s not a book meant to be read from cover to cover. Yet that was what I intended to do. I was serious about learning the language. I wanted to work through the pages and build my self-confidence and learn something before I started practicing it. But then life intervened. My job worked out and I found myself up to my neck in work. Digitally scanned the book so that I can take it up later on and perhaps be easier to sneak in some learning on the screen now and then. But never happened. It’s now sitting in my “eBooks to read” folder and collecting eDust.

ፀሐይ አሁንም ይበራል

In June – I also read the The Bible, the Qur’an and science. I read it back to back. I was going through a phase of wanting to know about Islam and other comparative religions. I have never earlier had the need to explain my belief system to anyone else and thus never really paused to ponder on it much. I have never earlier had to justify my religion to someone else. I was content in my world.  This book definitely was a worthwhile read. Very eye-opening and mind baffling too.

In July – I started reading Life of an Amorous Man. It was one of those books that looks kinky enough to read as light reading. It looked fascinating as it is from a different cultural setting that is alien to me. It is pretty dated and that was where my fascination really was – to see what has changed in men 😉  from the 1682 to 2016. I started reading it and went up to 1/3 of the book. Life got too hectic, the book was not that interesting and I ditched it.

In August – I read Knowledge is beautiful. I know this is a cheat really. It’s a book with beautiful infographics. So, in a manner it’s a graphic book, cannot qualify as being “read”. It’s thick though. And to really take in the information in those beautifully crafted infographics, you have to pause and get your brain into it. I would count it as a back to back read as I indeed paused on every page.

In September – It was the The Maldives: Islamic republic, tropical autocracy. The best book I read this year. It is factual but reads like a novel and is hilarious as well as thought-provoking.

In October – I had kept hold of this books called Getting Real. Never managed to move past the first few pages no matter how many days I carried it into the toilet, carried it in my backpack back and forth to work on the bus. Finally returned the book unread.

On that note, there is no better place to read than on the toilet seat 🙂 followed by the bus, the bus stop, and lunch break. Recently I’m trying to go back to the habit of reading in bed too – those dreaded moments where it’s so hard to focus and be positive about life. Some days the book wins, on some days the moody brain wins. I just need to try to find books that have the potential to win over the moody highness.

In November I returned the Getting Real book unread except for the front and back cover, the preface, the introduction, and a few more pages.

In December – I received the Beach Babylon that I requested through inter-library loan a few months earlier. I had wanted to read it ever since reading the book on Maldives by JJ Robinson. He had cited this Beach Babylon and I wanted to see what the author had to say about the Maldives. I am glad I followed it through. A superb read. I read it in a week which is a great track record given the scarcity of time.

So, in terms of reading it hasn’t been too bad a year. It’s definitely not up to the mark of at least a book a month – but 5 books back to back is not bad given that I didn’t read a single book in 2015. Next year will be better In Sha Allah.

These are some books I borrowed from the library meaning to read back to back, but never managed to even give it time to be carried with me with the intention of reading. They just sat on the shelf collecting dust and now I’m finally returning these today to reduce the stuff to pack and move. Listing here as a reminder to seek it again.


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I write as I think. I think as I write.

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