My concern today is all those books I have been reading forever. And ever. Ones I never seem to finish. Those thick, scholarly books I like and want to read but can't seem to hang on to for the long haul. I have devised a cunning plan to finally zip through these forever books in one year.
Yes one year. It's taken me five or more years to get where I am right now. In 11 short months, I will be finished. It's an amazing thought.
This list of forever books includes: The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama, An Outline of History by H. G. Wells, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West, and Blake by Peter Ackroyd. The one closest to being done is Blake. The one least closest to being done is Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
What is this plan? I added all the extant pages together, divided by 366, and came up with . . . 5. If I read 5 pages in one of these books every day, I will be done December 31. Not 5 in each. No 5 pages a day. How hard can that be?
And it turns out, not very difficult at all. I am ahead of the requirement. I've continued to read other books--25 of them so far. At the end or beginning of each day, I read at least 5 pages in one of the forever books. Instead of trying to read information-laden pages of 50 or so at a time, I read 5. I look up maps. I look up terms. I read all the footnotes. I savor the 5 pages.
Suddenly, it seems doable. And I'm enjoying the forever books so much more this way. It doesn't weigh me down to see the 1150 pages of Rebecca West staring at me. I delight in a short chapter on Dalmatia and the next day read Wells talking about Greece. Or Schama on the Dutch.
It turns out that forever means one year. And all of them will be finished. All of them.