On New Years’ Day, I made just one resolution: to read at least 75 books. I’ve always been an avid reader, but the older I get, the less time I have to read, and thus the fewer books I end up reading. Without a goal to reach, I’d end up reading very few books. So, the goal!
Being that I’m an organisation addict (thanks to the OCPD), simply keeping a written list of books was out of the question. Instead, I turned to GoodReads, which is, for the uninitiated, like Last.FM for books. Every book I read I add to GR, along with the date I started reading it, my rating, and, sometimes (always, if it’s a First Reads book), my review of said book. I add each book to my 2011 Reads shelf, but that’s just my need for organisation, for GR keeps track for me, since I’ve signed up for the 2011 Reading Challenge. As long as I include the date I finished a book (and said date is in 2011), it’s added to the tally. So far, I’ve read 52 books this year. According to the little widget, I’m 21 books (26%) ahead of schedule. Behold!
I owe a bit of credit to my ongoing TV/Phone/Internet Provider Saga1, without which I likely wouldn’t have read quite so many books so far: being without cable TV, phone, or internet at home is very conducive to constant reading.
It’s not (at all) surprising that most of the books I’ve read this year have been of the horror genre. Some, like The Keep and Rosemary’s Baby2, are books I’d been meaning to read for years; while others, like The Passage and Dark Places, are not necessarily books I would’ve read had I not been marching toward a goal, but which I ended up loving. (“The Passage” is especially fantastic, and is probably the best book I’ve read this year.) There’s also a smattering of bios and autbios (like Cherie Currie’s updated Neon Angel) and historical fiction (like Margaret George’s Memoirs of Cleopatra), but it’s mostly horror.
Along with trying to branch out (like Passage and Dark Places), I’ve started finishing every book I start, even if I don’t particularly love it, all in the name of… well, mostly just to get another book done. Peter Straub’s A Dark Matter, for example; had I not been working toward said goal, I’d have given it up early on, because it’s just not a good story. (Which is surprising, as I’ve been a Straub fan for years.) Ditto for Cocaine’s Son, a woe-is-me, my-dad-sucked-but-not-any-worse-than-many-dads “memoir” I picked up on an impulse. Bad impulse. Typos and boring life stories aside, I finished the damn thing. So far, I’ve successfully finished every book I’ve begun, but as the year goes on and I keep reading books I’m less than thrilled with, I’ve been reading more reviews for each book than I normally read before buying/reading; I’m tired of forcing myself through boring books, dammit.
When I started this “project” in January, I had a list of books to read, and even sorted them in order of when I’d read them. By February, I’d given up on said list and just started poking through my to-read shelf then buying then buying the books online or going to the local Borders’ with a small list.
At the moment, I’m reading two books: Carrie Ryan’s The Dead-Tossed Waves,the second book in the “Forest of Hands and Teeth” series; and Feed, the first in the “Newsflesh” series. I have no solid ideas re: what I’ll read next, but it’ll likely be the next in either of the aforementioned series’: Deadline (Newsflesh, #2) or The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3). Can you tell I’m on a zombie jag lately?
Anyone else participating in the GR challenge (or any reading challenge)? Anyone have any good book suggestions? I’m open to absolutely anything, except romance. (Mind, I don’t mind romance in a book — good luck trying to find a historical fiction book without some romantic element — but I don’t dig books that revolve around romance or relationships.) I’m also a little burnt out on vampires (unless I’ve missed something amazing, like The Passage).