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Reading-adjacent thoughts

The dangers of the TBR list…

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Here’s my deal:

I love to read. I read everything, all the time. And I read quickly, as well. A few years ago, my aunt made me a book journal so that I could record the books that I read. For about three years, maybe four (I’d have to go back and check) I faithfully recorded every book that I started and finished. I didn’t include books that I started and didn’t finish, or collections if I didn’t read the whole thing. Every year I counted up the books, and it was always more than 100. I know this doesn’t make me the fastest reader in the world, or the most voracious, but it certainly impressed my former students.

I put my book journal on hold during my master’s degree studies. Between research and coursework and trying  to have some semblance of a social life, my pleasure reading dropped drastically and when I did read things not-for-class, they tended to be things I’d read before, fluffy romance novels that I’d gotten either free or from charity shops, or online articles and blogs. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those categories, let me emphasize. But I hadn’t been recording my online reading in my book journal, and I didn’t have the energy to record the romance novels that take me an hour or less.

Also, my book journal had one minor flaw: it had spaces for title and author and a brief rating, but no further comments. I have another book journal somewhere that my mother gave me, which has space for more detailed review and analysis, but I don’t think I brought it with me to the UK.

I want a space that can be a record of everything I read – the online articles and blogs, the fluffy romance novels, the research for my master’s thesis/dissertation, the ‘classics’. I want a space that will let me summarize and discuss the things that I have read. I want a place that I can record the books that I want to read. I also want something that will give me a little bit more discipline in my writing without the self-imposed guilt that comes from not sticking to an arbitrary schedule (although there may be some of that. Midwestern Protestant blah blah blah).

So here’s what I am planning to do (It’s good to have plans – they allow you to look back and see what you haven’t accomplished):

When I finish reading a book, or give up on a book, I will post about it here. This includes the fluffy romance novels that take me an hour as well as the longer, denser books that take me up to a week (or longer, in the case of something like War and Peace, which took me several months – although, to be fair, I only read it in airports and on airplanes until I was about two-thirds of the way through, and then I just wanted to finish it. Anyway).

Every so often – ideally once a day, but given my surfing habits and writing habits, it may be multiple times a day or it may be once a month – I will post a list with commentary about my online reading.

When I run across books that I want to read, but either don’t have access to or don’t have time for, I’ll put them in some sort of list – a post that I’ll update and edit as I go along (once I figure out how).

For the next month, I am going to have to be hard at work on my master’s dissertation (thesis), as well as trying to find a job so that I can stay in this country, so I don’t know exactly when I’ll get back to this. But I have a plan! A goal! Plans are good!

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