January 2nd, 2011

Reading

Notes on this year's reading

I'm really just making this post because I wanted to share the note that came in the copy of For Whom The Bell Tolls I got via Bookmooch a few days ago. It's for The Degenerate Book Club (the one I'm in with robot_mel and beluosus), and I think we're due to read it in a few months. Anyway, this is what I saw when I opened the book:

Hi! Hope you will enjoy this book more than I could do. The book was my mother's, and as far as I know no one ever read it so I'm glad it will now reach a better owner! - Hilda

Not very encouraging, is it?

At any rate, last year I read 44 books. I keep the list permanently on my LJ page, so if you're ever interested (and I assume nobody but me is), it is there. Oddly, I started the "books read" and "books bought" list as a way of keeping track of whether or not the number of books I read was anywhere near to the number of books bought, as I seem to acquire a HUGE number of books. I managed to finally shift the number to more bought than read for the first time last year thanks to, well, borrowing from booklectic. This year, she and Bookmooch were huge aids in pumping up the number of free reads I got in, as I don't count books received as gifts against my total. However, I've lost a bit the value these lists have in helping me remember what I actually have; in years gone by I've been able to do a search on the list and discover if I've read or bought a given book since 2004. This is very helpful when you're in a used book shop and trying to decide if you have book X in series Y for which there are N books total and you may only be on book 2 but wanting to take advantage of used book store prices to fill in the gaps in the series.

By the way, I know a lot of you might say "Use the library!" but I got too many late book fees for this to be a good plan for me; I read books at my own pace, and libraries don't like it if you want to drag out reading a particular book for, say, 6 months. Vanity Fair took me about three, and while that's not normal, it's typical of the way I read books. Also, if my favorite author has a new book out, I don't want to be #60 on the list of people who get to read the one at the library, and I don't want to have to rush through it because someone else is waiting. And, hey, as a book buyer, I am supporting authors, which is nice.
Sea dragon

Trying to write

I was thinking of making a resolution that I wouldn't blog until I'd written a short story, kind of as a push to get myself to write a short story, kind of because, well, I've really never written any fiction before. But I didn't think that was right, to stop blogging altogether, as, well, how much time do I really spend doing this? It seems like it's very little. But I did actually spend time writing a short story (!) tonight. I think I can do this because I already know how it ends: it's a dream I had two nights ago, and it seemed like a perfect fairy-tale length type story. Hopefully I won't lose the voice and I'll get it finished; it shouldn't take long.

Meanwhile I went completely bat-shit wild on my theater blog and did three posts yesterday.
One of them was the predictable "this is what I saw and loved in 2010" post; one of them was "this is what people saw and loved on my blog in 2010" (with tips on what seems to drive traffic to a theater blog - summary: people are cheap); and finally a preview for a big ballet week that's happening in April, a "Diaghilev festival" that promises opportunities to see ballets I've only ever seen pictures of before. Yes, I am very excited about this; who hasn't seen and drooled over that famous picture of Nijinski as the Faun?

Okay, well, maybe not all of you but I sure have. Anyway, I had to write about it, in part because I need to see if I can find some people to go with me, in part because I wanted to know if it would be worth the money given I hadn't heard of any of the dancers or the troupe that's performing. And that's some writing I just couldn't put off.

In other news: I'm still sick, wechsler is still here recovering from surgery, and after a week and a half absence theta_g is back under the roof, too. We'll be back to a two person household tomorrow. And hey, January: I have no idea what to expect, but I'd really like to start out with a finished short story.