As some of you are probably aware, I joined the Summer Reading Blitz challenge hosted by Shauna at Reading and Ruminations. Our goal is to read 30 books in the 30 days of June. I’m very pleased with my progress; I’ve already completed 15 books and it’s only the 14th. Some of these were even slow, somewhat painful chunksters. How am I doing this, you ask? Well, my classes are over and I’m just writing and researching my dissertation. I haven’t found a part-time job and since I’m getting married and moving away at the end of September/beginning of October, it’s getting to the point where it would be pointless to keep searching for 2-3 months of work just to search again when I get there. I’ve already done most of my research, so at this point I am just writing 500-1000 words a day and then getting on with my reading!
I’m trying not to read short books just for the sake of the challenge. Instead, I have been following through on last week’s mission of reading an ARC or review copy, a library book, and then the oldest TBR that I have. I did have to cheat a little. I knew I needed to get My Lord John by Georgette Heyer read for next week and Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea read for online book club today, plus I got a Harlequin survey that I needed to answer so I snuck in Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines. That’s too many ARCs! I’m going to stick with the plan this time, though. I have found a great satisfaction in going way back through my LT catalogue and finding the oldest book that I have on my shelves and reading it. I’ve had so much fun figuring out what I’m going to read next according to my new system that I arranged all the books for the next couple of weeks in a pile:
While putting together that pile and thinking about my new goal to read my oldest books, I have realized that the reason many of them are the oldest is because they are chunksters. In the interests of speed and number counts, I have been passing over chunksters in favor of shorter, quicker books for the past couple of years. I think it’s been mostly subconscious. I will look at my shelves and think about what I really want to read, books like Possession and Crossed which you can see in the pile, but when it comes down to it I will pick up the smaller book. I no longer want to do this. My projected total for this year is almost 300 books. I don’t need to read that many. After June, I am going to read all those chunksters that I have been putting off.
Let’s take the two books I have read from the past this week, The Lieutenant’s Lover by Harry Bingham and Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick. The first is 500 pages, the second is 564. I loved the first and I read half of the second last night instead of sleeping. These books are fabulous and I shouldn’t shy away from the just because they are long. Reading books I love should be more important than seeking the fastest read that will knock one off my TBR pile and add one on to my yearly total.
What about you? Do you find yourself putting off longer books in favor of shorter ones? Why? Is it for your yearly count and TBR pile like me or do you have other reasons?