Thursday, 8 November 2012

Reading Plans?

Thank you so much for all your lovely birthday wishes!

I'm off to a conference tomorrow - gosh, my third this year! - and will be speaking on David Garnett's Lady Into Fox.  I have barely thought about it, to be honest, which is good as it has meant that I'm not nervous yet.  Whether my paper is up to much is an entirely different matter... but I rather doubt anyone there will have read Lady Into Fox anyway!

So, I'll be back late on Friday night, so I'll leave you with a question.  It's getting to that time of year when people start to mull over next year's book projects.  I've really enjoyed doing A Century of Books this year - it has joined my love of reading to my love of lists - and it's made me vary my reading a lot.  But while I think I'll revisit it one day, I don't want to do the same project two years on the trot.  (And who knows if I'll even finish this one on target!)

Instead, I've picked a project that is shamefully unblogworthy.  A lot of lovely people have given me books over the years, and I am rather awful at getting around to reading them.  Bloggers and other bibliophiles tend to understand - but I still feel a bit guilty, as well as missing out on all the potential gems on my bookshelves.  So, I've decided that in 2013 I'm going to read at least 25 books that other people have given me.  I haven't even checked that I have 25 such books - but I rather expect that it's nearer double that.  Just looking at my shelves in Oxford, not counting review books or books I got for my birthday yesterday... oh, there are 34.  Well, that answers that question!  I think it'll be a nicely varied pile - as well as enabling me finally to thank folk properly for my presents.

Howsabout you?  (If you wavered on A Century of Books this year, I can definitely recommend it as a really fun and fruitful project - which, of course, can be spread over two years or more, if need be.)  Any reading plans, or are you just going to go with the flow?  Or is it still too early to think about it?

See you at the weekend!  Wish me luck with my paper...

38 comments:

  1. I am swearing off reading projects next year! No new challenges and no new projects for me, however great the temptation might be. I have loved A Century of Books and WILL finish on time (only 17 books left to read) but I am looking forward to going back to just reading whatever I like, whenever I want. I am going to be delving into 19th Century lit the moment I'm done my Century - North and South has been calling to me for months, as has Trollope's Framley Parsonage. The only project I've been considering for a while is a reading of all of both Trollope and Thirkell's Barsetshire novels - really mostly as a way of motivating myself to review each one after I read it - but I don't think I'd ever put a time limit on it. I just like the idea of having all the reviews compiled together somewhere and being able to admire the list once I'm done :)

    I do applaud your plan for next year; 25 books seems so easily achievable compared to the 100 books for this year's project! Have fun at your conference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely wanted to do something a *little* more freeing - although I've still found ACOB much less restricting than most of the challenges I see. I must confess that 21st century lit will be forming a lot of my early reading in 2013 - and 20s-40s! I know they were included this year, but it was horrible not being able to duplicate those years...

      Delete
    2. I loved North and South! Framley Parsonage was really good too. I only have one more of the Barsetshire Chronicles and then I'm moving on to the Pallisers. I love Trollope!

      Delete
  2. No plans for me. I think it becomes a chore - though the obsessive part of me has been enjoying A Century of Books (vicariously!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! I found it much less of a chore than I'd worried it might be. Definitely not as difficult as when I did Project 24!

      Delete
  3. I suspect another year of "Project Zero" :-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you should add variety - have Project 365 next year!

      Delete
    2. Maybe I should, but I have enough "projects" on the go which do not involve books for me to seek one that does at the moment.

      Delete
  4. The ony plan I dare commit to is the LibraryThing Virago Group read-along - which looks like it will be Barbara Pym and so I'm happy I can cope with one book a month! The main issue I think I've identified is that I want to read what I *want* to read and if I think I *have* to read it I don't want to - if that makes any kind of sense! I'm enjoying going where the whim takes me at the moment!

    Good luck with the paper - I'm sure it will all go swimmingly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'll be able to join in with much of the Pym readalong, but maybe I'll manage one or two. I only managed two of the ET readalongs (so far, at least)! I'm not good at reading to order, it seems... or perhaps I do enough of that at university!

      Delete
  5. What a lovely idea to set aside time to read gifted books. :)

    I have a project for next year involving visiting bookshops and am just planning it all out, it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to tell people all about it in a couple of weeks or so!

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes, I already have plans for 2013.
    In case I have not achieved my 52 countries reading-challenge this year, I'll finish it.
    I would like to at least begin the reading-challenge on reading the States - one book set in each state.
    then I would love to focus on my stupidly long Goodreads TBR - 325 titles as of right now - it can change many times in a day!!... sigh.
    here is my chart with books read/to read for my current challenges: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqZIzZFqfnNxdDU2cDE3SHRydmtlY1E4UElzend4MFE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, you definitely do have plans! That is amazingly thorough! Good luck with it all :)

      Delete
  7. A belated Happy Birthday. I did an A-Z Title Challenge this year which helped me clear some outstanding titles from our TBR bookshelves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      The A-Z challenge definitely appeals - it lowers the tbr, but still a lot of variety.

      Delete
  8. How about trawling through the TBR pile and setting aside 3 books for each season or one for each month? Subject matter could be connected with the time of year, or the name of the author have a seasonal connection, or ...? Just any darned method to reduce that pile!!!
    It's either that, or read the books in the order in which they fall off the pile! (Not sure what you do if you move the bed to hoover underneath and the whole pile falls over - the Voice of Experience!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you doing this, then? Make your lists!

      Delete
  9. First of all, a belated happy birthday!
    You won't believe this, but just last week I made a nice little pile of books that authors had sent me, and books by various bloggers I read, with the purpose of reading them in the coming year.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What nice ideas you have Simon. My plans are simple - I'm just about to start on my mammoth Dorothy Dunnett readalong of the Lymond Chronicles, and then from Jan to March I shall mostly read from my long-term TBR piles. Good luck at the conference too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Annabel!
      My recollection of seeing DDs is that you'll be kept busy for quite a while...!

      Delete
  11. I must read the books sitting on the shelves! Don't know yet how I'm going to "challenge" myself to tackle them, but I love OVW's idea of re-sorting them somehow or another to make them even more appealing. The other thing I hope to do is reclaim some self-discipline in the book shopping department. (That's very hard to do when dh doesn't mind the shopping, but you know it is bad when the dc comment on it! ;) ) But the dds, now old enough to be great reading buddies, have decided in addition to their standing monthly book club with friends they would like to have an "in-house reading society" with "just us girls" -- mainly because we are starting to feel the "end is near" with the eldest due to graduate next year and #2 hot on her heels the following spring. (Phew! That was way too long and no doubt grammatically incorrect.)
    My short answer would have been to just say -- I'm working on my plans. :)
    Best to you on the paper and have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely idea! Your acronyms lost me a bit - dds = dear devoted sisters?? - but it sounds really wonderful. I definitely can't imagine my brother being up for that...

      Delete
    2. My apologies for the confusion. You know I'm only slowly getting used to modern acronyms. :) dds = dear daughters

      Delete
  12. My plans for the next year are very easy. Reading from the TBR and focusing on certain authors collectively. I will join readalongs if those books are already on my TBR and am intending to read them anyway. I can't believe the year is almost over. Wish you all the best on your reading plans, Simon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely :) Any authors chosen yet?

      Delete
    2. So far.. Jose Saramago, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Roberto Bolaño, also Dickens, Maugham, Steinbeck, V Woolf, among others. :)

      Delete
  13. Oh, what a wonderful idea for a reading plan!
    Next year I’ll carry on with the project my friend challenged me some time ago – to read at least one work written by every person who won the Nobel Prize in literature. I won’t finish this year, neither in 2013 (probably) as there are so many other books on my TBR list that I really want to read. I think a certain literary blog is to blame! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's quite a challenge! Have they all been translated into languages you can read?

      And I'm not sorry at all for the state of your tbr list ;)

      Delete
    2. Well… so far I managed to find the translations I need, but there are still some authors and books I didn’t have a chance to search for. We will see how it goes :)

      Delete
    3. Oops, my comment's gone missing...
      Anyway, so far I've found the translations I need, but there are still some authors and books that I didn't have a chance to search for. I have to confess, there are some Nobelists that I haven't even heard of.
      At the moment I'm reading Babbitt which I've got on your book sale some time ago :)

      Delete
    4. Hmmm, my comment hasn't gone missing after all... :)

      Delete
  14. Every year I vow to read more books off my own shelves. So far this year, I'm doing pretty well, even though I work in a library and am surrounded by thousands of tempting books every day. According to my calculations, I've read about 45% books off my unread shelves this year, which is pretty good.

    I've also signed up for challenges, including the TBR challenge (have to read at least 12 books off your shelves that you've owned at least a year); Chunkster Challenge, which is big fat books; and I also belong to the Classics Club -- I have a list of 75 classics I'm trying to read within 5 years. I've already finished 20 so far this year so I'm quite pleased about that.

    I love the idea of the Century of Books but I have so many Victorians I want to read, I'd never get through it. I love reading other people's reading plans!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about a 19th Century of Books? That could be fun - although a book for each year may be difficult - maybe 5 per decade. Start off with some JA - perfect start to a year!

      Delete

  15. I'm planning to carry on with the Terry Pratchett Challenge and try to finish all of his books (so far) by the end of 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy Birthday! I'm sorry it's so late, have another mini-birthday right now to celebrate...

    Em, I shall be continuing to not-quite-get-through my fairy tales and modernists challenges.

    I hope you enjoyed the conference.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wishing you a belated happy birthday, Simon! And good luck for the conference!
    Florence

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment - my favourite part of blogging is reading your comments!

Annoyingly, Blogger often messes up with comments... try refreshing, or commenting Anonymously (add your name in, though!) or using Firefox/Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. (Ctrl+c your comment first!)

Failing everything, email me: simondavidthomas[at]yahoo.co.uk - or just email me anyway :)

Thanks!