This season, I took a break from my reading projects and played with the longlists for some of the Canadian literary prizes.
Before I’d quite finished, I started in with the next Mavis Gallant short story collection.
Still, I might yet finish the three remaining books. Alternatively, they might wait until 2018.
Usually at this time, as the number of reading weeks in this year dwindles, I am thinking ahead – reading ahead in my mind – imagining new reading projects for the following year.
Well, that’s true.
But, what’s also true is that usually at this time there is a bit of a scramble.
That’s what happens when I try to reconcile the overly ambitious reading goals I set for myself in the past with the reality of having continued to undertake additional reading projects in the present.
It’s like that website which calculates how many years it will take you to finish your TBR, which doesn’t take into account how many books you add to your TBR each year.
Have you done that calculation? In theory, I can read all the books on my TBR by the time I am 73 years old.
That assumes so many things. Not least of which is I don’t discover any more interesting books to add to the list.
Because of course, even when I don my discerning reader’s cap, I still add books to my TBR every day. Well, maybe not every day, but at least 365 in a year, so it might as well be.
The reason that I’m not scrambling this year is that my reading projects for this year were too large to fit comfortably into twelve months. Maybe a single one of them would have been fine, but Louise Erdrich and Mazo de la Roche have written a lot of books, and Mavis Gallant wrote short stories for an entire lifetime. These are two- and three-year-long projects.
So reading is still underway for these — mid-way or nearly mid-way, or, at least, well-begun — projects. Not one of them will be complete at the end of this year; perhaps I will be scrambling to complete them next year. Or, perhaps I will discover that I work best with multiple multi-year projects. Which does seem to suit a TBR designed to last a lifetime.
What about you? Have you been enjoying any planned or unplanned reading projects lately? Are you already thinking ahead to reading in 2018?