Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Books Like Whoa: Reading Through the Year (2012 Challenges)

You may not have noticed, since I have no allusions that anyone is intently studying my projected reading list for the year, but I am attempting to get through some big, long, difficult books this year. Not just to be pretentious (though that's fun) or to be able to say that I've read them (though I will relish every opportunity, I'm sure), but because I genuinely want to have read them. Their topics or scope intrigue me and from what I have read thus far, they are well written and worth the time commitment. The books in question are:

  • The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Carradine
  • London by Peter Ackroyd
  • The Most of P.G. Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King

A variety, as you can see. I knew I would need a strategy to get through so many pages in a year and I struck upon a seemingly simple one: read a little bit of each book every week. I drew up a schedule (yes, I am that much of a dork) and thought it would be easy as pie.

What I didn't think about what the difficulty of trying to execute this reading plan of gigantic books when I'm on the plane every week. There's not exactly room for all of these books in my suitcase every week, and while I have a couple on eBook, I didn't want to have to rebuy them when I already had the physical book.

I also didn't think about the frustration of never getting done with a book. I am a little bit ADD when it comes to books and I start to get impatient when they run past the 400 page mark. It feels too long to me and I want the author to wrap it up already... plus, part of what I love about reading is that feeling of accomplishment when you put the finished book down. The delayed gratification of such long books is hard for me.

The long and the short of it is that I have made minimal progress with my strategy as is. So I'm asking for help...

How do you get through long books efficiently? Do you have a strategy or do you just dive in?

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