My reading

In January 2020, I became one of the founders of a small Facebook group here in Norway, for people who have a certain reading goal for the year. The idea came from one of my friends from my uni years, AK, and I joined in the project.

It has now been 4 years going, 2020-2023, and it is in it’s 5th year. It is a rather simple group. Every member has a thread for the year – a reading thread – and in the original post on that thread you write your reading goal. I for instance have the goal of reading 50 books per year. And then I comment on the entry for every new book. My structure in the comments is for instance this (translated to English):

Book 4. Finished January 10th. Dice roll: 6

Geert Mak: “The Many Lives of Jan Six: A Portrait of an Amsterdam Dynasty” (Amazon)
Norwegian version, audiobook.

This was my first Geert Mak book, and it really gave me a taste to read more by that author. This book gave a really good insight into Amsterdam history over 4 centuries, and the dynasty of the Six family over the years.
A well written book, translated into Norwegian in a manner which did not annoy me, and I liked the voice of the narrator

I really did finish this audio book yesterday, January 10th, and I am now working my way through book 5 for 2024.

We know that gamification works, and my mind is pretty well matched to things like this – having a goal, and then working towards that goal, during the days, the weeks, the months. So, for 2024, my goal is once again to have read 50 books before the end of the year.

I have a semi-updated spreadsheet with the overview of the books I have read in these years since 2020, and my goal is to update that more often.

Earlier in my life, I still read – but I did not methodically update a list of what I read, when I finished it, and give a review of what I had read. My estimate is that during my 20s and 30s I read on average 25 books a year. That is now doubled – I have managed to achieve my reading goal for all the years since 2020 except 2022 – and I aim to keep it at that level for the coming years.

Reading really just takes up more of my time these last years, and I like it a lot. I watch hardly any linear TV at all, and I rarely follow new series on streaming series. I go to the cinema quite a lot, though, and that is an activity that I prioritize.

It is January 11th. The new year is hardly so new anymore. But I find myself thinking about a bit more often, and tonight, on this Thursday night, I write again.

In December of last year, I did write about “Questions for 2024”, and I did not follow up that blog entry. I will do that now.

I guess my context needs to be updated here. After the sudden separation and later divorce from my wife in 2020 (we had been married since 2010 and been a couple since 2008), I did quite a lot of soul searching; seeking my own path, and made some changes. In January 2022, I left the IT industry, where I had been working since 2009, and I started working as a project manager in a big organization here in Norway. In January 2021, I made the decision to cut off contact with my mother. First the decision was for half a year, and after that half-year it became a permanent decision. I will not go too much into details here, and I am not a victim, but my mother was a fiend, and she did a lot to destroy her children. In November 2023, after my step-father K. died, I also got rid of my mother’s surname, Monsen, and replaced it with my father’s surname – Pettersen – as my new middle name. So I went from Raymond Monsen Kristiansen to Raymond Pettersen Kristiansen in November 2023. I am still transitioning into getting used to this new name; I have had that former name since I was 16 years old, in 1994.

My son, born in 2010, is now 13 years old, and he lives with me during the weekdays/schooldays and with his mother in the weekends. I have a good relationship with my ex-wife, and we have a decent collaboration about his upbringing.

I still work as project manager in that organization, and I will most likely stay there. When the weather is nice, I can walk from our apartment at home to the office in 23 minutes, which is a nice walk through this part of Oslo, the capital of Norway – where I have lived since 2009.

A lot has happened since 2000, when I was 21 years old and started blogging on LiveJournal. Or later started videoblogging in late 2004, or did other social media things. I have grown less interested in broadcasting my life to the world. I have also gained a slightly more introverted personality; I am not so eager to attend gathering and meetings as I was earlier, even though I do for instance at work organize conferences, seminars, workshops etc.

I live in the Briskeby area of Oslo, which is situated in the middle between the Royal Gardens and the Vigeland park – two great parks which are good to walk through during most of the year. I can walk to either park in about 8 minutes. I have lived in this area since Februar 2021; almost 3 years now. I aim to live in this part of Oslo until my son is finished with 10th grade at the school (he attends Uranienborg school, where he is now at 7th grade). After 10th grade, I will most likely move to another part of Oslo which is less expensive – Briskeby is quite an exclusive part of Oslo.

So. Yes. Reading. I read a lot, and I enjoy it so much. I have also started enjoying travelling more, and my two trips to Tanzania in 2023 (for a month in July, and 1 week in December for Christmas/New Year) were great. I have also become active in Engineers Without Borders here in Norway, and I will start getting more involved in different projects, most of them on the African continent.

I may write more here on DLTQ soon. I… actually hope so. That I will get into the habit of this again. The self-reflective praxis is good for me, and is different than from my different physical or app diaries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *