October 16, 2011

Sunday Salon - October 16, 2011

There are fewer than three months remaining in the year.

I’ve only finished 28 books.

I can’t remember ever having such a slow reading year as this year.

In 1999 I read a total of 42 books. That was my worst year on record.

In 2003 I read 88. That was my best year.

Even in the black year of 2005, I managed to finish 57.

I’ll be lucky if I read 40 in 2011.

So what gives? My house isn’t any cleaner. My yard hasn’t won any landscaping awards. However, we took some wonderful vacations (Colorado, California, and Oregon) this summer and we’ve had lots of visitors, as well. But the main distraction has been my obsession with cycling. I used to be a fanatic about running, but after over 30 years of pounding the pavement, my knees called it quits. I bought my new bike last spring and have tried to ride as often as possible. The summer heat and aforementioned travels limited my riding time, but September and October have been fantastic. Since April, I’ve logged just over 500 miles, with my personal best of 60 miles in one day. My new goal is to ride 100 miles in a single day. Oh, and to never get bitten by another dog! Yes, I was bitten two weeks ago while riding with a friend out on the MoPAC trail. And, since the dog wasn’t current on its rabies shots, it wound up in quarantine for 10 days. The good news is it wasn’t rabid. And I’m now current on my tetanus booster.

If our fall weather continues to be as lovely as these past few weeks, I might actually hit 750 miles before winter arrives. But more than likely, I’ll be back inside, curled up on the couch with Annie-Dog and a stack of books.

Life is good.

When the spirits are low,
when the day appears dark,
when work becomes monotonous,
when hope hardly seems worth having,
just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road,
without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.
-- (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes),
in the January 18, 1896 issue of Scientific American Magazine


  1. You must have been a baby when you started running - you don't look like you're old enough to have jogged for 30 years.

  2. My reading has been slower this year than it usually is too! I am not sure what gives, but I have had good quality reading this year, so I guess that is all that counts!

  3. Well, it is probably better to spend your time cycling than sitting around reading... I hope you do get some reading in soon, though!

  4. Don't you look great with your bike? I'm not sure I could trust myself on the road with a bike. I'll stick with the ones in the gym. LOL

    Good to hear that the dog incident is now at an end. What a pain! And I say, phooey on the bad reading years. We've had so many good ones. There has to be a not-so-good one occasionally, right?

  5. I wouldn't worry about the # of books you read. It sounds like you are doing what you love. I should get off the sofa and get in more exercising:)

  6. There are worse things that you could be obsessed with! Sounds like you are having a great time in your life at the moment.

  7. Kathy - You're far too kind. I started when I was 11 or 12!

    Reviewsbylola - My reading has been a mixed bag this year. I hope I can come up with a Top Ten! There certainly haven't been as many "great" reads as in years past.

    Kailana - True. And the weather's getting colder, so I'm sure I'll be curled up on the couch, hunkered down under a quilt, before too long. I should try to pick out a dozen "must read" books to finish the year off.

    Kay - Thanks! That photo was taken right after I got my new cycling jersey and shoes. Gotta have all the gear. ;) Now to get armed with some pepper spray or mace in case I encounter another dog. Or skunk!

    Yes, here's to a better year of reading in 2012. I still can't believe we're in the 2000-plus years. Shouldn't we have flying cars by now? ;)

    Diane - Oh, I'm not too worried. It just seems a bit odd to have such a low number this year when I've always been a fairly voracious reader. Guess I should try to "unplug" a bit more and stay away from Facebook and Pinterest!

    Marg - Oh, I know. I just look around my office and bedroom and see all the stacks of books waiting to be read. I guess I know what I'll be doing in my old age... ;)

  8. I agree with Kathy!! I must ride now so I can look as great as you!!!

  9. Hi Les--Thanks so much for the comment you left--it's really nice to hear from you! I have been following your blog via Google Reader for quite a while, though I am sorry I am such an awful commenter--I always seem to run out of time and can't catch up on leaving comments as I would like, but I have enjoyed seeing all your vacation pics and hearing about the books you are reading (lots of people seem to be having off years with books and blogging it seems). As I am in Omaha I can totally relate to weather events which you occasionally mention as well. I'll try and come out of lurkdom more often now! :)

  10. Wouldn't you love to see a photo of him bicycling? I bet he didn't have clothes like yours. Tweed I would guess.
    There's only so much time in a day and only so many days in a life. 'Do what you love and love what you do.' I love that saying. You are in better shape than those of us who sit and read. :<)

  11. Staci - Oh, you're too kind. I'm still not where I'd like to be with regard to my weight, but I am feeling much more fit now that I'm getting some exercise. With the colder weather approaching, I need to remember that I have a perfectly good treadmill in the basement. ;)

    Danielle - Hi, back! No apology necessary. I truly understand how difficult it becomes to comment on all the blogs I follow. There simply isn't enough time in the day to do it all! Yes, I remember that you're in Omaha--did you suffer any damage from that awful hail storm in August? I finally got my car repaired from all the damage. It looks brand new again. Of course, it's only a year old!

    Nan - I would! And, I think you're right. Tweed sounds just about right. :) See my comment to Staci about my treadmill. I can't find excuses this winter! I must walk!


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