I’m not sure what exactly I was thinking when I suggested it… and I definitely wasn’t considering the far reaching consequences of it when I did. But I asked for it and now I have it. However, after doing the math I realize, this commitment is for the long haul. That’s serious business for me too. Outside of my marriage, which is nothing short of awesome, this could become one of the longest commitments of my life.
What is it you ask? What did I commit myself to that has me all tied up this Saturday morning?
Well, here it is…I’ve joined forces with my niece, Ashley, better known as the blogger Oh Fancy That, on a quest to read through and then collaboratively blog on each submission listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Novels from 1923 forward!
THAT’S 100 BOOKS!!!
I repeat… 100!!
Sure, sure, on the surface that doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Hell, some people read books faster then they digest food…
“What did you do over the weekend?”, I asked a co-worker once.
“Not much. Read The Hunger Games.”
“Oh, the first book?”
“No, the entire series.”
WTF?!? I’m not sure I could read the entire Sunday comics section in a weekend. But there are people like that. And I wonder, how could they possibly enjoy reading that fast? How could they possibly savor the taste of the carefully crafted words when gobbled up that quickly? But they do, I guess.
I, on the other hand cannot. I have concluded it’s just not possible for me to read fast. I’ve limped through books on speed reading and applied their techniques, only to find out that my eyes tire quickly or I couldn’t keep up with my guide hand or my book hand would cramp up. Like I said, I’m just not geared to read fast.
Let me put some perspective on this for all of you.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read one book a week. At that pace it would take just about two years to complete. For me that is a brisk pace and one I wasn’t able to maintain. How close was I to keeping it? Allow me to drill down to some realistic numbers for you. We just entered May and by my count, I’ve finished one book. That’s not a mistype either. ONE f’ing book in four months. That’s three books a year and considerably off my NYR projection. So with that pace in mind I’m staring at 33.3 years to finish this project. I’m not kidding when I say, Oh Fancy That’s children will have a better chance at starting and finishing this thing before I do and she doesn’t even have any yet. Some convicted murderers will complete their sentences before I finish this project.
Don’t believe me yet? Let’s look at a practical example. We kicked off the Project, that’s what I’m going to call it for now on, with Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” which I purchased and downloaded for my NookColor from bn.com (Shameless plug) last weekend. If I remember correctly there’s about 450’ish pages in it and since I was filled with so much excitement, I planned to blow through this thing quick. I even dedicated three of my hour lunch breaks at work to reading the damn thing. After 7 days, I’m on page 40. For the sake of argument let’s say that’s 6 pages a day. Doing the math, which I can do really, really fast, that’s 75 days of reading. Which puts me ready for the next book in the middle of July…
Now do you see why I’m all bunged up over this? This isn’t going to be as easy as I once thought. I’m officially scared.
I’m going to kick it into high gear though this weekend. I’m going to get mind right. I’m going to “get in the game” as they say. I have a target set squarely on page 200 by Sunday evening. I’ll let you know how I do.
If I haven’t bored you to death yet, I would like to invite all of you to join us in this quest. It’ll be fun to hear the differing opinions on each of the selections. I promise to read much faster if you jump in the fray with us. If interested let me know.
Until next time…