Last year I made my very long to-read list more manageable by periodically selecting ten books to read from it. That way, instead of having to pick from nearly 100 books, I only had to pick from 10, which is a much easier choice. Plus, I could select those ten books in advance, to make sure my choice was fairly balanced and I didn’t just end up read 10 scifi books in a row, for example.
My reading habits changed a lot during the last couple of months of 2017 and I found myself reading more books simultaneously. Usually I’d have about four on the go, whereas in the past it was more likely to be just one or two. I’d read a book for work on the train in the morning, a book for fun on the train home, I’d have a book that was too big for my handbag (looking at you, House of Leaves) on my bedside table, and quite possible an emergency book on my Kindle that I could read on my phone if I finished the other things I was carrying.
I don’t know how much I like this system. I read everything more slowly, but it does force me to read books for work, as well as (literally) heavier tomes, which I’d otherwise put off. On balance, I guess that’s a good thing.
Anyway, the short lists definitely worked well, regardless of my reading habits in any other respect. So, I’m picking it up again this year. I’ll continue to leave a couple of slots open for book club choices and to not include the books I’ll read for work (although I will still track everything on Goodreads). Here’s the first list:
- Book club choice #1 – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
- Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
- The Golem by Gustav Meyrink
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
- The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios
- Book club choice #2
- Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- Birds Art Life Death by Naomi Alderman
- A Little Book of Language by David Crystal
That should be a good blend of old and new, fact and fiction and lit fic vs genre fic. In so far as any of that matters. Work wise, I’m starting out with Concentrate: Company Law, but my boss keeps hinting that I should probably read “The Big Black Book,” which is a massive patent law tome that really isn’t designed for reading cover-to-cover and which no normal person would read cover-to-cover, so I probably will. Eventually.
Meanwhile, my first Reading in Heels subscription box just arrived (more about that later) with my copy of Birds Art Life Death which I cannot wait to read but don’t plan to read first, so there’s every chance that I won’t finish it before the February box rolls around and I guess I’ll just have to live with that? Oh and my work colleagues want me to run a book club as well so basically I have zero chance of keeping up but I’m going to have a lot of fun trying!