War and Peace. Les Miserables. Moby Dick.
Three books I always believed I would never read. Three books, that in the last year, I have done a bit of sampling of. I haven’t gone past the first few chapters in any of these books, but I have read enough to know that I am not afraid of them any more. War and Peace promises to be spectacular, taking me into a world I know little or nothing of. Les Miserables speaks to the heart, creating such a strong bond even within the first thirteen chapters I’ve read. Moby Dick has given me an encouraging start, a glimpse at Melville’s style that I find I like very much, and the promise of a very good story teller.
So. I am not nervous about these books anymore. Why I haven’t I finished them already?
I am a one-book-at-a-time person. Each of these books I sampled only because of various read-alongs that folk have been hosting through the blogosphere. The most recent being the Moby Dick Big Read that had me picking up said book only two weeks ago. However, I have never been good at reading too many books at the same time. Invariably I find myself concentrating on just one and discarding the others, or just neglecting everything and finishing nothing.
Allow me a most recent example. If you take a glimpse at my list of classics to be read for the Classics Club, you will find, that in the month of August I completed eight novels. Eight. That’s a really good run for me. And all of them I was able to complete because I read them one at a time, picking up the next only when the previous one was done. Then came September, and with it the excitement of being back in the blogosphere and wanting to do so many things. As a result I have finished reading just one book last month, while I’m stuck in the middle of four books I began in the last three or four weeks — I picked up Far from the Madding Crowd as my casual read, Little Women for a read along I’m hosting until this Friday (October 5), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on audio while I do my needlework, and Moby Dick for the big read.
Only one book finished in September. Four books incomplete.
And so, I hope to get back to one book at a time. I find I finish reading more that way! Now given that I have just ten days more for my big day I hope to finish with the Hardy and Alcott before then. I have a feeling the Twain might take me another month or two. The Melville I intend shelving away to read on a day when I feel ready to stick to a big book for at least a week. No doubt Tolstoy and Hugo have been shelved away for similar days. Hopefully I will get to one, two or all three of them next year.
In a nutshell, I hope to get back to a more focused routine. Which means more books read and more fun.
A quick list of what I’ll be reading till 10 October:
- Far from the Madding Crowd
- Little Women
- Short stories by M R James
- Some more short stories from random writers, if time permits