A New Start

 Welcome, everybody! Anybody? *crickets.* Well, I guess you can’t expect a huge crowd on the first go-around.

My name is Danielle and I’m starting this blog to chronicle my attempt to read 15,000 pages in a calendar year – January to December.

I’m in the midst of this journey currently, and I’ve utterly failed for 2014. So I decided to try again in 2015. But that certainly doesn’t mean I can’t begin the blog fun now as I try to analyze and figure out what made it so hard to me to get it right the first time.

The idea for this project has a few different beginnings. After I graduated college in May 2012, I was jobless, car-less (my poor, loyal car had puttered out with roughly a month to go of my college career), and, to put it simply, bored. So I decided I’d keep track of how much I read during the summer. As an English major, I had just spent my final two semesters reading and researching for an honors thesis on top of my other required classes. So I was burnt out by the end. I hadn’t read for pleasure in months. I missed it. I missed reading, experiencing adventures despite sitting on my bed, or couch, or floor (yes, I’ll read anywhere). And I thought keeping track would motivate me to read more and really be aware of it in a way that I wasn’t when I was at school. And it did! I read 6,500 pages from June 1 to September 1 that year. Sweet!

Then the project was done. I was so happy with what I’d achieved, but I was starting a new job, one that required no reading, except to ensure that pages and forms were filled out correctly. It was, for me, loveless and mind-numbing. Finally, I got a job doing what I wanted to be doing, editing, in May 2013. And I threw myself into it. It was exciting, I moved away from home (downstate NY to NY’s capital, Albany) and learned to truly be independent on my own for the first time. And obviously, I brought my books. All of them. But I was reading slower and not paying as much attention, because I read every day at work. At work I read press releases and columns and direct mail from Albany politicians. It’s interesting; I love being an insider, understanding the way my state works (or doesn’t). But again, I missed reading for fun, for adventure, etc. So I decided to set a goal for 2014 to get myself back in: This time, I was going to read 15,000 pages throughout the year! There were only 3 rules:

1) Work, magazines, and online articles do not count.
2) The reading could be anything I have or have not read previously.
3) re-reading throughout the year counts.

Fairly simple! Unfortunately, real life began in the best way as I tried to start this journey. I had real reasons to put down the books: a person I deeply care for, great friends, and fun outings. But I couldn’t get the journey, the goal of 15,000 out of my head. I’m a bit under 10,000 right now; at my last count, I believe I was just over 7k. It’s still possible I make it, but I don’t believe I will. So I’ve decided to start this blog now to analyze what went wrong, and how I can make sure that reading is still a part of my life next year, through the project, despite everything else. I’ll include book reviews of things I read for the project as well as posts about reading and life and all of that other fun stuff.

I know this might not be the most original or exciting idea some have ever seen. But it is for me, and I hope you all enjoy my ramblings, reviews, and thoughts. Here’s to 15,000 in 2015!


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