New reading projects are rooted in personal indulgence for me.

Those unwieldy spreadsheets? The gobs of time spent thinking about reading and planning my reading?

They eat directly into my reading time and steal from other relationships in my life — the bookish-sort, the non-bookish-sort (which are outnumbered).

And, yet, I revel in them.

I could have read one looooooong book in the length of time that it took me to make my HOA45 reading plans. (That’s the tag I’m using to chart this project, this latest indulgence.)

But you know how it is, when you suddenly realize that there’s something really good in your bookish life.

Maybe it’s a new series you’ve gotten attached to.

Or it’s a reissue of a favourite book

(I’ve already mentioned the immediate and irresistible appeal of the A-list, which is what sparked my current smitten-ness).

Or perhaps a prizelist has opened new reading doors for you.

Or a particular book by an author has urged you to check out their backlist (which happened with Pamela Porter‘s books in my case).

Or, it’s like they say in The Book of Dangerous Women, under INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS: “If you value authors — and the small independent presses who discover them — it’s a nice gesture to pay full price. Independent book and record shops matter. They offer expertise and choice.”

When there’s something really good in your bookish life?

And the pages go all-a-flutter?

And that new-book-glow coats your skin?

You want to make a gesture.

That’s what this reading project is for me: a gesture of gratitude.

For a single press, yes, for I am a single reader, but with a network of presses and a network of readers in mind.

In my reading mind, this is a 45-day-long project. 45 days of talking about 45 books.

(Even those who are not mathematically inclined will note that two of those days already have been filled with bookchat, not books, but that’s because there are also some posts planned which will include more than one book. Yes, I have a plan. A plan built on lists. Of course.)

It is 45 Days of House of Anansi, but it’s also 45 days of loving indie presses, of fiercely reading indie.

And, at the end of it all, there will be a draw for $45 worth of books from an independent press.

(Every approved comment left on an HOA45 post will constitute one entry in the draw, and there will be an opportunity to increase your odds as the event unfolds. This is Day Five, but not everyone tracks their Readers daily, so approved comments on the earlier posts still count too.)

More details about all of that later, but the point is to generate discussion about indie-press offerings, to celebrate reading indie, to indulge in bookishness.

And am I ever indulging. I spent last evening literally surrounded by books, with my furry accomplice on the pillows alongside. I’m currently reading books that fit the theme of Lives of Girls and Women, but last night I started reading Frauke Scheunemann’s Puppy Love, and I am freshly smitten with Hercules, the dachshund (via Shelley Frisch’s translation from the German). It’s a true pleasure.

And what about you? Are you fierce about your bookishness?
Do you make a point of reading indie, or do you want to?
Do you have favourite indie presses?
What reading project is currently claiming the bulk of your reading time?