Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Resolving to read more - yet again

Unread Books
Originally uploaded by MCuthbert
I have a gift card for Barnes & Noble, but I'm stuck as to what to buy with it. Just a few minutes in the bookstore, and it's easy for me to find a dozen new things I want to read. Unfortunately, I can't keep up.

This is a picture of the unread books that currently sit on my shelves at home (Bonus fun: Click the photo to see if you can name them all) -- and this is just the fiction. Some were gifts, and some I bought myself. Some I've started but never finished. Some, to be quite honest, I don't think I'll ever get around to reading.

Another thing this picture reveals is just how anal I am when it comes to books. They're alphabetized by author on my shelves, just as they are here in the stacks I made. I also keep fiction and non-fiction separated, and I organize non-fiction by category (though not using the Dewey decimal system -- I'm not that bad).

Lately I've gotten better about checking books out of the library instead of buying them. In fact, that's part of the reason that such a large number of unread books remain on my shelf -- I'll pick something out from the library, and the return date compells me to give it priority.

The point here is though, that I want to read more. I want to catch up on reading the books I already have. As I mentioned recently, my goal has typically been to read 12 books per year. This year, I've resolved to raise that number to 18. My reasoning being that the library loans out books for three weeks, so I should be able to finish one within that time frame (and if you can't figure out that math, that comes to about 18 per year). Also, if I reach 18, I'll surely think to myself: "Why not 20?" And if I reach 20: "Why not 24?" (since that would be two per month, doubling my usual goal).

So far this year, I'm on track. I've finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, and I'm about half way through Wicked by Gregory Maguire (which I wanted to read before I see the musical in April). Time will tell whether I'm able to maintain this pace (which is relative to that of a geriatric tortoise).

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