Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year, New Me? Not Hardly.

That's right. 2011 will be more of the same.  Every year people say they'll make more time for their families, for exercise, for taking up a new hobby, organizing the house, learning Japanese or saving the world...and every year, they spend most of their free time doing the things they really enjoy.  So let's face the facts: I, like you, will be doing more of what I like to do.  For me, that's reading.  This year, I'm narrowing my focus.  There are far too many classic books in my "unread" pile, so here are my rules for 2011.  Well, for the part of 2011 that this blog will address.

1. All classics, all the time.
If you're not sure what is meant by classic lit, Wikipedia has a decent discussion of it. Why classics? Italo Calvino has a few good reasons, which have been gleaned from his essay and put into list form here. I don't have a particular list of books I'll be working from.  And sure, I'll continue to read nonfiction and maybe some pop fiction, but they won't make it into the blog. Maybe this will follow a different theme for 2012 (apocalyptic literature, perhaps? ha.)

2. Nothing I've already read.
One purpose of this exercise is for me to experience new works. So alas, I bid goodbye to my old friends for the time being. And if I do happen to slip out one evening to meet The Scarlet Pimpernel or Jean Valjean, you just won't hear about it on this blog.

3. A classic a week.
This is the part of the plan that causes me the most trepidation, but pacing oneself generally yields the best results.  After all, I could read straight nonfiction for a couple months, then skim Jane Austen: The Complete Novels just so I could check off some numbers, but that would defeat my purpose of spending a year exploring and enjoying (some of) the classics.  My intent is for this blog to document a leisurely stroll, not the occasional literary sprint.  Due to the seven-day time constraint, I probably won't be choosing War and Peace or other extremely long works.  Maybe another year I'll do a tome a month.

4. No audio books.
I have a hard time concentrating on audio books when I'm not in the car.  If I didn't, I'd use them.  That said, if I am the victim of a horrible auto accident and find myself in traction for 2 months, I reserve the right to use audio books.  Maybe even War and Peace. 


Anne said...

Fabulous, Kara! I can't to see what's first.

Anne said...

Oops - I meant I can't wait...

bren j. said...

Here's to never having to listen to War & Peace on tape. Or CD as times may require.
I, for one, will cast my vote in favour of a year of Apocalyptic literature. One can never get enough of the Left Behind series (right?) and Hal Lindsey wrote some pretty brilliant (and fear-inducing) works, did he not? *tongue planted firmly in cheek* Plus (!), if all goes according to plan, you won't have to finish out the year anyway! :)