Sunday, April 26, 2009

Taking Stock

Thanks to the Themed Reading Challenge, I've been carving out more reading time, and so far, feeling pretty good about my progress.

A look at the remaining bookstack, however, reveals that I've accidentally done something that may prove problematic: left two biggies toward the end of the challenge. Both War and Peace (1361 pages) and Remembrance of Things Past (1018 pages) take up a lot of space. I meant to knock them off earlier, but it just didn't happen. I blame this on The Brothers K and I Know This Much Is True, both of which are also pretty darn hefty.

(Note to self: In challenge reading, remember to balance longer books with shorter ones and/or read all the fat books early.)

At the risk of becoming daunted, I calculated the number of pages I have left to read (3,078) and the number of days left in the challenge (96 days til July 31).

You know those students who figure out exactly how many points they need on the last exam to get the overall grade they want? I am their opposite. That kind of awareness just makes me anxious. I figure if I study hard, the grades take care of themselves. (Plus, no math required!)

This time, though, my curiosity got the best of me. The answer wasn't that bad. Averaging 32 pages per day sounds pretty do-able.

I'm not mapping any further strategy, however. I briefly considered whether I should start marking a 32-page stopping point for each day's reading, or -- better yet -- a 35-page stopping point, so I can skip the occasional day without falling behind. But that's so OCD. Better to just read and enjoy.

And save a few vacation days for, say, around July 29. Just in case I need to stay home and read!


  1. C.S. to the rescue. I figured out a way to cut your projected daily reading average by nearly half. First, swap your copy of War and Peace (1361 pages) for the Norton Critical Edition (1200) pages. Then, replace your edition of Remembrance of Tnings Past (1018 pages) with the graphic-novel adaptation (72 pages). That'll reduce your daily average from 36 pages/day to only 20. Now, if you would prefer to go to a Kindle and do the math in kilobytes instead of pages.....:)

  2. I like CS more and more.....heheheheheh...kilobytes!

  3. Graphic novel version of Proust! Talk about hell in a handbasket!

    Good luck with your reading. Sounds like a great challenge, even if you left to biggies for last.

    The last time I found myself doing that kind of math, I was trying to figure just how long it would take me to finish Finnegans Wake. I didn't have a deadline, but I was sick at th thought that if I only read 5 or 10 pages a day, it would take YEARS to finish.

  4. Clearly, C.S. loves math more than I do and is trying to be helpful. And I'm pretty sure he and I agree that a graphic novel of Proust is a sure sign of the apocalypse.

    Even more so if I was reading it! I haven't even made the jump to audio books yet. :-)


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