I’m a slow reader. It’s not a bad thing, but where some people I know can read a novel in a couple days, I will use up my lunchtime reading a ten-page short story. It can take some motivation to decide to read a novel – hence my preference for the short story. A 300-page novel can easily take me a month or more. I need to be rather keen on a 500-page novel to consider reading it… unlike some people, I would pick a shorter book out of two that I was interested in. This can cause something like laziness when it comes to reading.
Then I started my “book-a-month” project.
In January 2008 my wife and I were out shopping when we saw one of those annoying calendar stands in a shopping centre. A quick browse prior to heading back to the car, and I found a calendar bookmark – that’s to say, a small-sized set of twelve bookmarks, one for each month of the year.
I had previously been reading quite a lot anyway – mostly anthologies, but also the occasional novel. My thought was that with these bookmarkendars (hey, a new word!) I would be encouraged to start a new book each month. Okay, so I wouldn’t necessarily finish the book in the allotted month, but the idea was to start one.?In the case of anthologies I often have several on-the-go (the wonderful Mammoth Books are generally close to 700-pages – and before you ask, I’ve so far only tried the Sci-fi, Horror, and Fantasy ones… I’m not sure Lesbian Erotica is my thing, tho’ I’ll always keep an open mind *cough*).
I set myself some loose rules, although book-reading is meant to be enjoyable, so breaking the rules is fine. A new book should be started each month. An anthology can happily go over the end of the month, and can be “caught-up” with after reading a novel, for example. In fact, I’m only just finishing an anthology I started a year ago (!!). Sometimes I can cheat by reading a very short book. And if I skip a month, so be it. I’m not going to flagellate myself just because I didn’t start a book that month. As I said, book-reading should be enjoyable.
And that’s it. A book-a-month. It’s been going on for nearly twenty-two months, and in that time I’ve started reading twenty books (and finished 16 of them – I have four anthologies on-the-go). The two missing months? That would be shortly after I became a Dad, where other things suddenly became a priority.
I’m going to set up a page with the books I’ve read during this project, sometimes with a write-up, or reasoning, but probably not rhyme. And when I pick a new book (or after I’ve read it, who knows), I’ll post about it. I guess it’s perhaps not interesting to some people, but isn’t that what blogs are for?