My reading in February has taken me from the U.S.S.R. to Japan, from Austria to Syria.

My plan for reading in March has been all about Ireland and Wales.

And because I love making lists, I’ve been making plans since January: searching the library catalogue, searching my shelves. (Springsteen fans will recognize the anniversary photo, commemorating his debut album in 1973.)

Cathy is hosting Reading Ireland and Paula is hosting the Wales Readathon.

My ongoing challenge is to balance the old and the new: the continuing and fresh projects, the personal and public library, and the backlisted and forthcoming titles.

With both of these events, the first books that came to mind were not on my own shelves.

Re: Ireland For some time, I’ve been meaning to make a point of more deliberately exploring writers like William Trevor (because I’ve loved the short stories in “The New Yorker” over the years, Colum McCann (because his book on writing is a recent favourite), and Colm Toibin (because a friend consistently recommended him and I keep borrowing and returning). Plus, I’ve borrowed some interesting volumes of non-fiction for other Reading Ireland projects, and then promptly ignored them in favour of fiction, so there was the possibility of mending that gap.

Re: Wales Similarly some key writers came to mind like Jo Walton (because: Among Others), Joe Dunthorne (because of his wit at the Toronto International Festival of Authors) and Tessa Hadley (because: The London Train). And, also similarly, these are not writers currently ensconced on my own shelves. It was even more tempting to turn to the library for the Welsh writers because I did not have as many names in mind immediately, so researching just made me want to keep looking and adding to my list.

And, yet, the column on my spreadsheet which indicates the books which I’ve read from my own shelves? (It’s easier to track those, because I remain a library addict, despite substantial effort expended to curb my habit.) The column is so sparsely populated that I keep thinking the data has dropped off in that final column. And although I don’t have a formal goal, if I did, it would not be 17% of my reading.

So my notebook reveals the Irish and Welsh authors on my shelves currently, and from there I’ll pull my selections, for the most part. With a couple of exceptions, already en route to the…you guessed it…library.

Have you got reading in mind for either Reading Ireland or the Wales Readathon?

Or, perhaps for some other March event? (Canada Reads, anyone?)