Now anybody who knows me, knows I love a plan. Even better than a plan, a plan with a spreadsheet. And now I have both. From this, the main conclusion is that I now know:
I have to read 3738 pages in 83 days.
This is an average of 46 pages per day – probably not significantly more than I normally read, but it will require discipline, something I have in spades… about a third of the time. On my spreadsheet, I have done some clever (well, for me) maths to make sure I am using my time most efficiently. I have also colour-coded things. I am a girl, after all.
(Initially I wrote a lot here about the spreadsheet. Then I remembered, to about 99.9% of society spreadsheets are unbearably boring, but I can provide more information – and even images – on request.)
I also love being outside. There is a plan for that too. This is my balcony where I plan (read: hope in vain) to do most of my reading.
So I was thinking
Everyone loves books for different reasons. I know this. And to serve as a helpful reminder of this, the first comment on my blog (thanks Sophie Harwood for being number one) reminded me that just because I think something sounds depressing or silly doesn’t mean everyone else does.
So I sat down and thought about the books I love and why I think they are, well, loveable.
And it came down to these four things
- They can’t be all doom and gloom – a bit of gloom here and there is fine, and I don’t always require a happy ending but if the characters are miserable and unlike-able on every single page, I won’t like the book;
- Things need to happen – philosophising has its place, but I don’t really have the patience for a book where nothing changes;
- They need to be quotable – I love a good quote and this propensity has only been enhanced by my kindle, which allows me to underline things; and
- They have to be memorable – I quite often forget about books, even books I have quite liked, once I have read them. I never forget the ones I love.
(I’d be really interested in hearing what you, dear reader, would have on your own list.)
The First Book
Now in a self-flagellating way, I nearly began the project with one of the ‘red’ books, the I am only reading this because of this project books. But although on paper, that sounds like a wonderful idea, in reality I didn’t want to be put off before I started.
So instead, I started with a yellow, maybe I would / maybe I wouldn’t, kind of book: Swimming Home (and other Stories) by Deborah Levy.
As part of the deal I have made with myself, I don’t read any reviews before I start a book, to make sure I don’t influence my own thinking. The only thing I let myself read, at the outset, was the Man Booker summaries, as part of my initial assessment.
Here is the one for Swimming Home: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/books/swimming-home
I think, in general, I would quite like Deborah Levy, as a person. I have heard her interviewed and read bits about her all over the place. She seems articulate and interesting. But I don’t like books about depression (see above). I don’t really enjoy sad books, wallowing, triteness or stereotypes, at least some of which they often tend towards. So this is why I am suspicious of this book.
Something to look forward to
I have started the book. But this blog is long. So more on this tomorrow, I think. Though just for clarity, there are no rules, I may blog about a book before, during, or after I have read it (or all three). That’s just the way it is going to be.