Adventures in Reading


December already?
December 2, 2008, 9:29 am
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , , , ,

When did November creep by? I expected long and snuggly autumn days and it’s December already. With the holidays (I went to the zoo), being ill, working in retail, the end of a semester (oh my!), and a particularly exciting paper titled “The Grammar Delusion: Breaking Students’ and Tutors’ Misconceptions of Grammar in the Writing Center,”I haven’t even had a moment to check my email. I’m going to spend the next few days catching up on reviews, but it’s likely I’ll be absent for another week or so as I finish the current semester of school.

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Over break I spent some time reflecting on my reading habits of the past year and am pleasantly pleased that, excepting any unexpected pitfalls, I should have read at least 150 books this year. This is 51 more books than last year and though I know I could try to beat this number for 2009, I think I’m going to try something different.

I have found it frighteningly easy to fall into the habit of reading books to enjoy, but to also increase the number of books I’ve read. For next year I’m ignoring (as best as I can) the quantity of books I’ve read in exchange for a bit more quality. In 2009 each month I’m going to focus on a different author:

January for Julia Alvarez, February for Roddy Doyle, March for Willa Cather, April for Haruki Murakami, May for Toni Morrison, June for Albert Camus, July for Joyce Carol Oates, August for F. Scott Fitzgerald, September for Banana Yoshimoto, October for Dave Eggers, November for Virginia Woolf, and December for Kurt Vonnegut.

I picked these authors because I own a lot of their books and I will endeavour to read three to five books at least for each author. This doesn’t mean that I won’t read works by other authors, but I’m very much attracted to this idea of focusing.

And that’s enough about me: How was your holidays? Do you have any reading plans set for 2009?



Humbug!
November 2, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: thoughtful | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It is November already, can you believe it? and it has been many weeks since* I’ve said anything about working conditions at the bookstore. To say the least, the holiday season is upon us and I am not at all looking forward to months and months of Christmas music being piped in that I can’t ignore despite my best efforts.

The holiday season is not a period of jovial festivities in the retail world, but rather more reminiscent of war times where we’re all encouraged to bunker down, ration our resources, and heaven-help-us-all please wash your hands or we’ll all have strep throat by the end of the week! It doesn’t help that I’m not too keen on the holiday season to start with, and that yearly a handful of bad nuts wreck any optimism or hope I have for humankind.

On the good side, within two days the agonizingly painful maintenance count of the Obama versus McCain books will cease.

*Thanks Carson!