I wasn't going to do this, but I have a feeling if left to my own devices (and I still may end up being bad this way), I'll just keep starting more new books and finish off the year with a mess of a pile of books on my night stand. I've chosen twelve books to read between now and Christmas/end of the year. Twelve may sound like a lot, however all but two books are already well under way. In some cases I'm well past the halfway mark. If I make a concerted effort and and just read one at a time (or two--one for work and bus rides and one for the gym and treadmill walks), I think I might be able to finish most of these. That will leave just a very few on my night table to start the new year off.
How does this happen you may ask? Too many things sound too interesting and I have no self control when it comes to books. Life is short, and I often think how will I ever fit them all in, so I tend to allow myself free rein when it comes to starting new books. And I've gotten worse with time. Before I started to blog, I rarely (actually never) had more than two or three books on the go at once. I might have a mystery, a novel and a nonfiction book started but that was it. Blogging is what did me in. Hearing about what other readers are reading, reading along with online book groups, and getting the occasional review copy from publishers means there is just so much choice I can't ever keep up.
I say this every year, but maybe next year is going to be the year--I am going to be better about keeping my reading stack low (rather than its usual teetering state). I've also been thinking about how I read. I feel like I often just consume stories without thinking about what makes it tick. I read for plot and action, which is fine, but I wonder what else I am missing. How the author is constructing the story, what he's trying to achieve and how it all works together. I'd like to spend more time thinking about what I'm reading. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do this, but if I can learn the right questions to ask myself I think I might be less of a superficial reader than I feel like I am at the moment. And I'd like to choose more books that are challenging reads. I'll still read whatever sounds good, but there are books that push the boundaries of literature, and I'd like to try my hand at a few of those as well. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. So more about that later.
First those last twelve books--most of which you can already see on my sidebar. There is also another Georgette Heyer, These Old Shades (which once again revolves around a young woman dressed as a man--how many of these did she write? I find them endlessly entertaining, though). And I decided Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women was the library book that had to be read. Sadly I think most of the remaining library books will need to be returned (unless I can renew them of course). So, I have my work cut out for me.
Inspired by Stefanie's holiday binge pile, I've started thinking about the books I'd like to read over my vacation from work. It may change as I get closer to break, so this is version 1.0. I'm opting for lighter reads. East of the Sun by Julia Gregson often makes appearances in book lists and photos, so I think she absolutely deserves to be read finally. I'd like to start the new year out with John Galsworthy's The Man of Property. I don't expect to finish it, but I'd like to make a good start as I want to read the whole set of books over the course of next year. It's hard to choose just a couple of the Bloomsbury Group books, but at the moment I'm contemplating Ada Leverson's Love's Shadow and D.E. Stevenson's Mrs Tim of the Regiment. Deanna Raybourn's Silent on the Moor seems like a book I could easily stay up late into the night reading. And I need at least one thriller, so David Hewson's Cemetery of Secrets it is. I'm only missing a good ghost story, but there's still time to think about my choices!