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  • Bill Chastain

100-Book Goal Reached

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Half-heartedly, I set a goal at the beginning of 2020: Read 100 books in a year. An auspicious goal considering I'd read 33 in 2019. But I figured what the hell. My friend Pete Williams did it in 2019.

I burst from the starting line at a snail's pace. Then Covid-19 arrived. Televised sports went away for awhile, and I began to read more. Before long I'd formed a habit.

I read books via the actual hard copy, my Kindle, and my iPhone. If I found myself in a waiting room, I had a book handy. During TV commercial breaks, I hit the mute button and read. And, of course, I experienced many full-on read rots where I sprawled on the couch or bed and enjoyed a book.

All along, I'd planned to ceremoniously re-read my favorite book, Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides, to reach the milestone. But when I finished my 99th book, I found myself in the midst of Kathy Hogan Trocheck's (She now goes by Mary Kay Andrews) Callahan Garrity Mystery Series. Thus, I reached the century mark when I finished Trocheck's Midnight Clear (Book 7 of the series) on December 1.

Some observations about my year of the book.

First, I love to re-read books. I enjoy how being older, maybe wiser, brings different elements to light when I experience a favorite book for the second, third, maybe fourth time. The Summer of 42 (book No. 21 this year) is a good example. I first read Herman Raucher's classic when I was 15 (the summer of '72). My parents put me on double-secret probation that summer thanks to a night out, and too much malt liquor. I loved the book. I have no idea how many times I've read it since. Funny, the first reading delivered a coming-of-age experience. Reading the book is now an exercise in rearview-mirror gazing.