Here in the Rocky Mountain, there are still a couple of hours before the clock turns and 2018 is gone. The kids are watching a movie, and soon we’ll all make some noise and wish each other a very happy 2019. I’m taking a moment to look ahead and reflect back, just a bit, on my reading year.

I read some exceptional books in 2018, and I listed my top ten here. I’m proud that I read what must be the longest book I’ve ever read in Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries. That said, I let many days slide by without opening a book — weeks even. Work took more time this year, and even when I wasn’t working it was often on my mind. Also, my four boys are getting older (the oldest just turned 12), and they are busy which makes my wife and I busy. I think a lot of it wasn’t lack of time per se but rather lack of energy and mental space at the end of the day. I’m hoping to adjust and get back on track, though I’m learning to be forgiving if I don’t quite get around to everything I’d like to.

Still, I think reading is important for my well-being. I feel better when I’m regularly sitting down to spend a little bit of time with a book. With that, I’m looking ahead with modest intentions to 2019. Rather than a large list of books or authors I want to read, I’m mainly hoping to just be more deliberate day-by-day and not get caught up (and bogged down) by the many things I’d like to read. If I’m being honest, many of the books and authors I had on last year’s “reading intentions” post can carry over fine into 2019, so I’m hoping to stop saving those for a rainy day.

I do want to have one larger goal, but I’m not sure what it will be yet. Two years ago it was to read Middlemarch, and that was a fantastic success. Last year, it was Anniversaries. For 2019, I have considered finally doing more than reading the fist few pages of Swan’s Way and going all out for Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. I’ve also thought of finishing The Portrait of a Lady finally. I hope to spend a bit of time going through my shelves tomorrow to see what stands out. I’m also open to suggestions!

One last thing: last year I had the goal of enjoying the winter months. I can report that I did. For the first time in a long time they didn’t get me down. I still loved when spring came around, but my deliberate attempts to find the beauty and quality of the darker, colder months worked. I think I can do it again this year. One thing that helped a lot? Reading good books and sharing that with you all!

Happy 2019!

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