Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Personal Reading Challenge; or My own Fire Sale (literally)

I have a new goal: To read my entire book collection before my 50th birthday or the whole lot goes up in flames. That’s right, burn the whole collection if I don’t get off my ass and finally read these things that have been hanging around my place, in some cases for 25 years. I’m addicted to my books. I collect them, I don’t read them. So I decided to give myself some serious motivation.

I have nine years. This should be plenty of time. I’ve done some rough calculations and I have approximately 350 books left to read. Which works out to about 38 books per year. Say one a week, give or take. Some I should be able to blaze through, like Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, and R. Crumb. Unfortunately, I have the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason and a bunch of William Vollmann, which will make it difficult to keep on schedule. Not to mention family and work and etc. and the fact that I continue to buy books. But I think I can adjust for all this.

Right now I’m reading the Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano with Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and Information Bomb by Paul Virilio on deck. So let’s get this challenge underway. Well, maybe later. I’ve got lots of time.


Mister Trippy said...

You need to skim read some stuff... some books don't merit reading cover to cover, you need to work out how to find the parts you need and leave the rest... the books are there for you not vice versa! But me and Jim Thompson read right thru!

Rev. Michael Roth said...

Good strategy. There are many books I've acquired just for a particular chapter or two.

And of course I've read your books cover to cover several times! They're a real groove sensation!

Michael K said...

Hey burning books willy nilly is, like, a groove sensation! You should have seen the smoke signals I manifested when I, as John Latham, burned a pile of Home's outside the South London Gallery a few weeks back just after Home had finished stuffing his face with buns inside and was off to get with an arts admin booze-up. We toasted kippers over 'Come Before Christ and Murder Love'. I haven't such fun since I as Kafka, murdered Max Brod's gret-granchildren in their sleep and then set fire to the museum that contained the collection of my original manuscripts.
Burn and be damned...I mean enlightened!! Death to the tree-fellers! Burn for peace love and mental health!

Rev. Michael Roth said...

Let's built the pyre high and dense so that it will burn longer and serve as a beacon for the coming end times. Come Before Christ and kippers are a groove sensation. Those great grandchildren had it coming to them, as do the other parasites of this dying culture.

Wait a minute, I'm a parasite of this dying culture ...