September 5, 2012

September Means Back to the Books

After I wrote Friday’s post about not really wanting to drink… I changed my mind. And probably drank more in the last weekend than I have in a long time. Oops! Like a 21 year old on their birthday, drinking was a novelty that was too fun to pass up – and when combined with a wedding that reunited me with my NYU sorority sisters, it was even harder to resist.

But now that it’s out of my system, I think I’m going to be cutting back again. I’m not going to the point of invoking Alcohol-Free September (though BF was swearing to it when he woke up on Sunday morning after a day of football watching and beer drinking), but I think I’ll probably be drinking a little more than I did in August but a little less than I did in July. (Of course, with the notable exception of the Belgian Beer Festival in Boston this Saturday that I can’t wait for – my Untappd account has gone neglected for far too long!)

So what is my September challenge going to be? Glad you asked. I tossed around a few different ideas (30 days of yoga, Sugar-Free September…), but none of them really spoke to me that much. I honestly don’t eat that much sugar (though I do find it hard to resist Tasti D Lite when I pass one in NYC), and the reason I don’t do yoga more is because I have other priorities – and that’s fine with me. When I thought about what would be meaningful to me, I realized it was already one of my goals for the year that was important to me – but had somehow fallen by the wayside. Reading!

I set my 2012 goal to be the same as 2011 – read 100 books. I know that you should always push yourself to do more than you did previously, but last year I made it to 100 even and don’t think I really could have read many more. And this year, I’m totally behind (though I haven’t taken any beach vacations yet, and I make up for a lot then). But then I happened on Dan’s inspiring post, Three Books in Three Days, and I realized that getting back on track may not be as hard as I thought. Maybe one book a day isn’t sustainable for an entire month, but if he can do that for a few days, maybe I can do a lighter version for a month?

And so with that, I propose: 15 books in 30 days. In addition to enriching my mind and forcing me to watch less TV, the third bonus is that I often read on the stationary bike – so I’ll be getting my biking muscles in shape. Good thing, since a friend is organizing a bike/wine tour of Colorado in early October where we’ll be covering 50+ miles a day! I’m going to be in trouble if I don’t put at least a little work in.

Already read: The First 20 Minutes, by Gretchen Reynolds.
Next up: You Are An Ironman, by Jacques Steinberg

Get Smarter in September has begun!


6 thoughts on “September Means Back to the Books”

  1. I really liked You Are an Ironman (even though I have no personal interest in doing one). On a similar topic, you have got to read Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald (about Kona); it is just riveting!

  2. If you want to get smarter in September, why not throw some classics in there? Many of them (like Of Mice and Men, for example) are only 100-200 pages and can be read quickly.

    A great non-fiction book I read a couple of months ago was Kontiki by Thor Heyerdahl. Definitely enlightening.

  3. Thanks Laura for the props!

    Hey and following up on Anonymous’s point on fiction/classics: you could throw in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” another short–and truly great–book.

    Dan @ Casual Kitchen

  4. Celia – I’ve been lucky enough to be a fast reader even since I was a kid!

    Kristin – I definitely want to read more Ironman books now that I finished You Are An Ironman; will add that to my list!

    Anonymous and Dan – Was mostly joking about “get smarter in September”, though good point about potentially including some classics. I’ll check out Kon-tiki! That said, I’m not at all looking to sandbag by including short books. My reading list/order is mostly dictated by when the books I request from the library come in and how soon they’re due back!

    Laura – I liked it a LOT. I thought it had enough for both newbies and experts, in that it incorporated a wide range of studies.

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