I have tried to make more of an effort to read in the last few years, with varying degrees of success. As my current job is overnight and affords me a lot of free time, it’s usually torn between movies, reading on the internet about news and sports and pop culture, or reading books. Movies have actually also inspired me to get more into books too, as I’ve purchased and have read or intend to read several books that have movie adaptations that have been released recently or are scheduled in the next few years.
One thing I have noticed is that my reading habits have changed. Sadly, I still read very slowly, which means it can take me a long time to get through a book. But where in the past I used to read only one book at a time, I’ve developed a habit of reading 3 or 4 books at a time with different levels of involvement for all of them, depending on my mood at the time I’m interested in picking up a book, physical or digital. As it stands right now, I am currently reading three books with three more that I have started and not progressed in much because I lost interest for one reason or another. I’m not sure whether this is a good habit or a bad habit. probably mostly bad, as I see similar traits in other aspects of my life. For instance, when I come back from the grocery store with a lot of new groceries, I am eager to sample at least a little bit of everything at the very beginning (does this happen with anyone else?).
I used to read one book and not pick up another one unless I completed it or decided to drop it altogether. But, then again, I didn’t necessarily do a lot of leisure reading growing up and most of my reading in high school and college came from books I had to read for classes, so even then I suppose I was reading multiple books at the same time, just required reading instead of reading for pleasure. So maybe the conclusion is that my adult self is compensating for the lack of the classroom and homework in my life.
At any rate, I made it a goal of mine to read 25 books this year, which was, admittedly, very ambitious on my part, given that it would require a rate of just over 2 books per month. I actually started out pretty well for the first couple of months, which is longer than I usually stick with anything resembling a New Year’s resolution. But as spring turned into summer, my consistency in reading fell by the wayside. At the rate I’m going, I should end up reading about 15-16 books this year, which is pretty impressive to me.
Here is a list of the 13 books I have read this year, including 2 that I started in December of last year:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland by Patton Oswalt
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Love Wins by Rob Bell
Religiously Transmitted Diseases by Ed Gungor
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity Shepherd’s Notes by Terry L. Miethe
Currently, I am reading the following books:
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The War for Late Night by Bill Carter
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I have essentially dropped The Turn of the Screw and The Invisible Man, though they remain on my list of books I am currently reading on Goodreads. I found the writing style of Henry James interminable and The Invisible Man was tough sledding for some reason. If I were to pick one back up, it would most certainly be The Invisible Man.
A Game of Thrones I will pick up again, probably after I finish Jane Eyre, because I loved the first season of the show on HBO and want to get through the other books before I see any future seasons. But it is tough sometimes to read something that you have already seen adapted. I would have had that problem with Pride and Prejudice had it not been for the zombified version of it to read concurrently.
Which is why I am currently trying to make my way through Jane Eyre, which I got for free on Amazon for the Kindle, but am forced to read on my laptop since I don’t actually own a Kindle. Yet. There was a very well-reviewed movie adaptation of Jane Eyre that was released this past spring which came out on DVD this summer. It is currently sitting near the top of my Netflix queue, but I want to read it before I see the movie.
And speaking of movie adaptations, I come now to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. A terrific spy novel by one of the masters of the genre. The movie is scheduled to come out this November, featuring an all-star British cast. The trailer hooked me for this movie, and convinced me to read the book. And I was not at all disappointed. Tinker is one of the movies I am looking forward to most this fall and winter. I will definitely be seeing it opening weekend.
My biggest task on the horizon is also related to a movie that has been announced that is scheduled for 2013, Anna Karenina. Luckily, I have enough advance notice that I can pace myself and try to tackle that one in 2012. Probably along with 3 or 4 other books at the same time.