Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

What you're doing? Keep it up. (Quick book thoughts)

As I've done since sometime in 2004, I'm keeping track of the books (and book-length works) I read, always with the overarching goal of averaging a book a week so that I can have read at least 52 books in a year. I can have other goals within each year; in 2017 I wanted to make up for my much slower 2016 reading pace, but the bigger goal I had last year (which I met) was to read more works written by women. I expanded that to reading more female poets because a conversation back in September made me realize I, a person who's worked on poetry, had not read nearly enough poetry by women — I haven't even read Sylvia Plath yet, and saying Dorothy Parker or Sappho is almost too easy — so I've dived into Mary Oliver and Wisława Szymborska, and I've just borrowed a Maya Angelou collection. More to come.

The thing is, which "more"? A day or so ago I was thinking about what I hoped to read in 2018, and for a moment I felt a little at sea: I could picture dozens of slots that I hadn't yet filled and worried I'd fill those slots haphazardly. It was like I was preemptively disappointed in myself with what I will have chosen to read. (SYNTAX INTENTIONAL. Heh.)

Then I realized I was overthinking it. I can keep reading, and figure out the direction of my reading as I go on. I don't have to have 12 months plotted out; I haven't before. What I'm doing? I'm headed in a good direction doing it. And this give me room to stumble onto stuff that makes me go Oh, yeah! I had wanted to read that, and here it is! That happened yesterday at the library when I found Robert Bloch's 1959 novel Psycho on the shelf. There. Next novel. After that? Something. Lots of somethings.
Tags: books
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