Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Achievement: Unlocked!

Challenge acceptedI did it!

I track my book-reading on Shelfari, and probably around this summer, I noticed that with the number of books I’d read, I was “ahead of my pace” for last year. I did a quick calculation, and wondered if I could not only double my reading output, but try for a book per week.

As I was working out today, I met my goal, and even started to go beyond it when I started one of Bill Maher’s books.

Were all of my books this year works of literary art? Not hardly. But the important thing to me is that I made the time to read actual books, not just online articles and content. Don’t misunderstand me...there is plenty of good content out there, but reading an actual book is different, and I made a conscious choice to focus a little more on my reading and cut down on my online time. That means that my ability to keep up with blogs suffered, but it was the right choice for me.

This past year, I read a wide variety of things, including political books, biographies, science books, and thrillers. For sheer pleasure, my favorite was probably Stephen King’s latest, 11/22/63. When it comes to science, my favorite was definitely The Panic Virus, about the anti-vaccine boondoggle. Then there was Keith Richards’ Life and Patti Smith’s Just Kids. I loved Matt Taibbi’s books, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Some were memorable, and some I’d like to forget. But all in all, it was a very good year, and I don’t think it’s wrong to take a little pride in this particular accomplishment.

Book-O-MatOf course, next year, I could very well get an admonition from Shelfari saying “You are behind your pace of last year.” Get off my back, Shelfari! Just back off, man! Although I would like to keep to the book-a-week goal, it might need some modification, because I want to get back into the Modern Library’s Top 100 list. Unfortunately, the next book in line is a James Joyce book, Finnegans Wake, and I’m kind of dreading the James Joyce stuff. So some of those on the list could take longer than a week to read. But our friend Kim in San Francisco has made a deal with me that we’ll both read Finnegans Wake this year. I appreciate the challenge and that will help me get it done.

Do I have other goals for the coming year? Definitely! But for the moment, I’m going to let myself be proud about accomplishing this one. It might not be the loftiest of goals, but it’s something that was important to me, and I feel very good about it. Onward and upward, and many more books to read!


  1. I remember "Finnegans Wake". So what if I never made it past the 1st chapter. :) I think I'll go take a look see at that list now.

  2. I may need to do the Shelfari thing, my goal would be one book a month. It is a start...

  3. Joyce... ugh..! Reading 'Ulysses' was like finishing 'Atlas Shrugged'..! The only book that I dreaded reading what Pynchon's 'Gravity's Rainbow..!

    If you would not mind, could you please forward a copy of your list to my mailbox..? Thanks in advance..!

  4. Thats a great achievement,I have ahard time finishing a book,I hate to admit that but its true,Welcome back to reading blogs.

  5. So you aren't a fan of James Joyce?

    Congratulations on meeting your goal!

  6. Well, I started off the year reading much more than most years and slowly lost that momentum. Glad you met your goals; knowledge is power.


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