I’ve become inured to the fact that I’ll never read all the books that I want to read. That’s fine. Really. I keep buying books with the intention of reading them, but I rarely get to them. It’s not that I’m not reading. I am. I’ve read 25 books so far this year, admittedly less than usual, but I’ve been busy. The thing is, I get excited by something, then I buy it, and if I’m in the middle of another book, well then. It goes on the shelf. And then it’s a crap-shoot if I ever get to it. The last five books I bought are: Scalzi’s Lock In, Stross’ Rhesus Chart, Carriger’s Curtsies and Conspiracies, Kress’ The Friday Society (That’s Adrienne, not Nancy),  and Palahniuk’s Fight Club (though I really shouldn’t talk about that one). Have I read any of them? No. Am I reading, at least? Of course. I’m a quarter of the way through Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go, and I’m probably going to read Venus on a Half-Shell next, and then probably Hitchhiker’s again, because I want to see how much of the former leaked into the latter. Will I ever get to those five books I listed above? I hope so! The first three definitely, since they are known quantities, and I find Poor Ol’ Bob Howard’s personal dilemmas personally attractive. Fight Club, I bought because I want to take it apart and learn a bit from it, so that’ll probably be read. We’ll see about the Friday Society. Canadian writer though, so it has that going for it, eh?


My “To Read” shelves from August 31, 2012. Alas, some of those books are still there. Even though I know they’ll be awesome…

I wasn’t going to read Lock In until I read The Human Division (Yes, YES. I know they’re completely unrelated. But I like progressing as the author progresses. Just like me, they are hopefully practicing all the time too, and I like to see that.). Admittedly, I said the same for THD and Fuzzy Nation and Red Shirts, and I read Red Shirts first in that list. So I’m obviously full of shit.

One thing that I have managed is reading recent books. This year 17 of the 25 I’ve read were published in the last 15 years. The oldest was The War of the Worlds, read because I passed through Woking, and I knew I’d be seeing the Fighting Machine in front of the railway station, and I wanted to relive the thing. This turned out to be an awesome idea, thank you very much, as I had frissons running down my back and goose bumps whenever I passed a sign for, say Weybridge or Shepperton. Yes. That’s how it goes.

Woking tripod.JPG
Woking tripod” by WarofdreamsOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ok, so that was actually a meaningless statement. I decided to go through my Goodreads list of the books I’ve read and see how the percentages broke down. I’ve been above 65% new books (new books being defined as less than 15 years old) since 2009. Before that the best I managed was 2006 (the year I started keeping track), where I hit 47%. That was also the year where 10 of the 51 books I read had been published before the 20th century, so go figure. I also didn’t have any children that year. Also go figure.

All this to say, I wish I had a time turner or something, because I want to do much more than I can actually do, and that sucks. But hey, I’ll cope if you cope.

For the curious, here’s the list of books I have on the go right now:

Physical book: Walk Softly, Witch by Carter Brown (On hiatus because I misplaced the damn thing)

Physical non-fiction: The Hidden Tools of Comedy by Steve Kaplan (Suggested by Mur Lafferty)

Lunch book (IE that I’ve left at work): The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

E-Book: Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

Audio: To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer

Erm, bio reading?: The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig (my Doppelganger!)

I would recommend any of them, even Walk Softly, Witch. Total roman noir. I made it to page 40 before I lost it, and the protag has been beaten 3 times already, each time more grittily than the last. Heh.