Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Did Read and Will Read, April and May 2010

I’ve updated my April reads to the 2010 Books Read List, which shockingly suggests that I’ll pass the 100 book mark in May, only counting my planned Orange Prize reads. Like March’s total, however, April’s log is a little misleading because of the number of re-reads and the amount of kidlit.

The numbers are also a little off because of books like The Magic Island, which I’ve actually been reading in fragments since 2008, and Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night, which I’ve been spinning out since New Year’s Day, trying to make its bookishness last.

Nonetheless, with this ferocious reading, a few other areas of my life are getting the short end of the proverbial stick, so I expect that, after the Orange Prize announcement in early June, my reading will drop off a little.

But I’ve also joined two new challenges — the Once Upon a Time Challenge and the 2010 Challenge — both of which encourage my interest in kidlit and YA writing, so even though a large number of the books I’ve been reading have been inspired by the Shelf Discovery Reading Challenge (which ends today), a fair number of kidlit titles will keep me Buried in Print through May and June.

I’ll be posting my reading list tomorrow along with my thoughts on the fantastic (literally) Terry Griggs novel, Cat’s Eye Corner. (Which poses a problem immediately — because I only planned to read the first in the series but I loved it so much that now I must read the next two as well. And, believe me, I have tried to talk myself out of the rest of this series, but it’s just too much fun to resist.)

And, because I am truly pushing my bookish luck, I have joined two other new challenges which encourage my interest in the publications of Virago and Persephone Books — the 1930s Mini-Challenge and the Daphne du Maurier Challenge.

The new challenges were exciting for April, as was actually seeing the tick-marks accumulate under my personal reading goals list (short stories, literary/biography, magazine, kidlit, a Virago — which doubled as a read for Paperback Reader‘s Angela Carter month, a Persephone, my Orange Prize Reading Project), which is the first time this year that I’ve check marks on every line.

(Everyone has these lists, right? Everyone tracks them in a spreadsheet, right?)

But I’m a little nervous because there are three reading challenges that I seem to be consistently overlooking.

Yes, the same three. ::looks nervously in their direction::

Part of this, I think, is because I’ve been so crazy with Shelf Discovery reading and Women Unbound Reading — I chose too many books (I couldn’t help it: you know how it is) — and with reading steadily through the works of Ethel Wilson for Canadian Reading 3 (though I am now reading the last of hers and moving into biographical territory).

And all of that has been fun, but I’m relatively new to Reading Challenges and I have my own annual Must-Reads to deal with, so I’m not sure if this is an early sign of Challenge Reading Burnout. Nonetheless, I do still want to read the books that I’ve chosen for those three neglected challenges, so I think I’ll just keep turning pages, and see what happens.

There are still lots of months in this Reading Year, right? Besides, there’s hope for me yet, because I did get my Oh-so-flabby poetry reading muscle back in shape in April. (Yes, yes, this does indeed add a line to my spreadsheet for the months ahead.)

So I really have nothing to complain about in terms of my April reading. And for May, I am planning to keep up my Orange Prize Mondays and Thursdays (if I can’t get some of this year’s longlisted titles, I will substitute some earlier titles from other years’ longlists), with the exception of my full-scale Persephone binge for the Reading Week. Besides that, I am excited to finally delve into Hiromi Goto‘s work, which has spent far too long on my TBR list but has, at last, moved to the top of the stacks.

How about you? Did you have a good Reading April? Are you looking forward to anything in particular for May’s reading? Have Reading Challenges taken over your bookish life?

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4 comments to Did Read and Will Read, April and May 2010

  • yep, yes, yep. (reading challenges, check lists, spreadsheets – so much fun!)

    We (my mom, my daughter, 10 , and me) just picked One to Grow On by Jean Little for our Ramona book club. I wanted to pick a Jean Little and my daughter had a copy of this book I gave her for Christmas. Looking forward to it.

    I have Library at Night on my wishlist at the library. I’m glad to hear it’s the kind of book to savour and enjoy.

  • Thanks, Raidergirl: nice to have the company of other book-crazed folks. I’m curious to see how you think the Jean Little holds up for you, and how your daughter, in particular, enjoys it. I’m not sure how much of my enjoyment was rooted in simple nostalgia.

  • Very impressive list! I had no idea people used spreadsheets until I started blogging. I don’t even have a notebook to jot down my thoughts while reading (that’s probably why my reviews aren’t so detailed and usually missing quotes) but I’ll start with small steps and get a notebook first 🙂

  • Thanks, Sakura. Yes, small steps are good. The notebook was my first step as well, with just the details, title and author, and then it was so helpful that I starting noting the odd quote, and then more, and then and then and then…

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