Read three books in three months and possibly win a prize. A Kindle Fire prize. The flyer at the library said to finish the books by January 31st and register for a chance to win a brand new Kindle Fire. As I stared wide-eyed and hopeful at the flyer, I began to think about my chances. Pretty high. I’ve got Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks to read. And how many adults will actually register for this? Not many! Me and maybe that guy in the bowtie over there. But other than the two of us and the local book club ladies, not many. I was sure of it.
I have just started Quiet by Susan Cain. That’s one book. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak can be number two – I’ve wanted to read that. I will look around and grab number three right now. Ah. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. Recently returned. Wasn’t that a movie? Even better, should be good! And just to be safe, I’ll throw in The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren. Another little voice inside me says, You don’t normally win anything, but you’ve got this!
The final day to register was last Friday.
I didn’t win.
Well, it may have something to do with the fact that I never handed in my registration form. BECAUSE I never finished the books. (Gasp!) Self-disqualified. I did, however, finish two of the books I was reading: The Book Thief and Cold Mountain. Both of which are incredible reads (if you like tragedies). And might I add that Markus Zusak is quite possibly one of the best contemporary writers I have ever read. He’s brilliant. [Insert joke from my dad here, questioning my minimal knowledge of writers as evidenced by my apparently very short booklist.]
It’s embarrassing – not meeting this challenge. My nine-year-old son, on the other hand, who is not an adult and could not register for the Kindle Fire, finished ten books in the time it took me to finish two. My husband read about the same number as my son, and they were textbooks! (As I type this, I am kicking myself for not registering him! What was I thinking?) It’s doubly embarrassing because I love to write! I have multiple degrees in English and English education. I should have had this one in the bag! But alas, it’s February 3rd and the tortoise is still working on the unfinished The Daniel Plan and Quiet.
Here’s the truth, people. I think I lost out on the Kindle Fire challenge for two reasons: One, I am a slow reader (obviously). I always have been. I have an obsessive tendency to read. Every. Single. Word. On. Every. Single. Page. It’s like I “stroll” through books. Those of you who are able to speed-read and finish books in hours as compared to the weeks it takes me…alright, months it takes me, I envy you. I want your powers.
The second reason I lost out on the Kindle Fire was: I didn’t want it bad enough. I prioritized “Win the Kindle Fire” too low on the winter to-do list. It drifted somewhere below items “Feed the children” and “Put away laundry” to somewhere above the practically forgotten “Organize the basement” and “Dust”. I could have ordered it higher on the list. I could have stayed up late a few more nights and watched a little less Masterpiece Theatre. Then I would have finished that last book and won! (Maybe.)
But my heart wasn’t in it. In the challenge, that is. I still loved reading the books. It’s just that I have found that I prefer reading at my own (leisurely) pace. Which is ok. Hey, I could always try to win something again in the summer reading program. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to reading the other two books. Which may take me until summer to finish.