The Fall of Reach and Three Years of Reading

Amazon Kindle and paperback copy of ‘Halo: The Fall of Reach’ lying on a plaid bedspread.

Three years ago, I made a promise to myself. I would read something every day. At the time, it was just a loosely-defined goal. I could not remember if I had a stopping point in mind, such as “do this for one year.” But, the goal eventually morphed into a lifelong pursuit of reading every day, at least until fate calls my number and sends the reaper my way.

It is hard to forget the anniversary of the moment this journey began. It is on December 3. The day after is the anniversary of buying my home (although, that has been only one year).

Admittedly, I have not performed well in my reading pursuits lately. I have only completed three books for the entire year: Rhythm of War, The Eyes of the Dragon, and Wizard’s First Rule. Granted, the first and last of those are hefty volumes and not to be read in a single sitting. But, my daily reading has mostly been relegated to 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there. The first year of homeownership is a time-consuming affair, especially when you have 2.5 acres of land to manage. There rarely seems enough time to get everything done.

Then, you add in all of my hobbies and preferred-forms of entertainment…well, I let my reading slide a bit. However, I never once broke my promise.

Friday, December 3, came and went like most days. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to do something different to kick off my fourth year of daily reading. I needed to reignite the flame that pushed me into this journey three years prior.

I remembered that I had bought a paperback copy of Halo: The Fall of Reach in November. It had long been on my “maybe” list. Typically, I purchase and read books on my Kindle. However, I have been playing the accompanying Halo video game series for years. I wanted something physical, something I could hold onto that would represent my years of fandom.

The book had a generally favorable rating, but I did not have high hopes. It was adapted from sci-fi military video game, after all. I assumed that most reviewers were simply gamers who would not look critically at their preferred franchise. My purchase was more about owning a piece of the Halo history and not for any serious literary purposes.

I picked up The Fall of Reach around lunch yesterday. The plan was to actually sit down and take some time to read a chapter or two on the weekend. This was me “mixing things up” so that I was, not only hitting my daily reading goal, but really reading.

I put the book down after a couple of chapters, but I was hooked. I had other things to do for the afternoon. However, I put in a few more reading sessions between various tasks. When nighttime rolled around, I found that I could hardly put the book down. I checked the time. It was 1 a.m. I had burned through 278 pages in one day, more than I had read in a long time.

I was not expecting a Halo-based book to really get me hyped about reading again. I love the multiplayer aspect of the first-person shooter but have barely played any of the video games’ campaign modes over the years. My knowledge of the story behind this universe is cursory at best.

The Fall of Reach has been a fun ride so far. I have already ordered the next three books in the series.

Year 4 is off to a good start.