Hello Saloners! We’re having a long summer holiday weekend in the US, with Independence Day on Monday. My office also closed on Friday so I’m luxuriating in a 4-day weekend. The weather has been typical for Pennsylvania at this time of year, that is to say HOT! But for me, summer isn’t summer without heat so I’m actually enjoying it for the time being.
So we’re now halfway through 2011, and it’s time once again to reflect on my reading so far this year. I’ve read 36 books, which is pretty close to my normal pace. Two of the books were “movements” from Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, which would have counted as six books if I’d read them as separate novellas. And I’ve actually read more pages than this time last year so … but wait! 2011 wasn’t supposed to be about the numbers, was it? Sorry, old habits die hard. 🙂
My favorite books from the second quarter were A Dance to the Music of Time (first movement), and An Artist of the Floating World (click on links to read my reviews). There were no clunkers — every book was at least 3 stars — and my ratings average 3.8 stars so far this year. Oops, numbers again! Sorry! 😳
I continue to be surprised at my ability to keep my 2011 Reading Resolutions. Well, all but one of them anyway; here’s a run-down:
- I will not set quantitative goals: Despite the opening statements in this post, I’m still keeping this resolution. Yes, I tally up books, pages, and ratings but I don’t have specific targets I’m trying to meet.
- I will not read ahead of myself: This was challenging in the first part of the year, and has become easier with time. I am not reading completely on a whim, but I don’t plan my reading until the start of a new month (or, well, a few days before …)
- I will take part in reading events: The second quarter brought a bit of a dry spell in this area. I’ve simply been reading what I wanted to read. I thought I’d be more active in The Classics Circuit, but the tours haven’t fit my schedule or interests.
- I will not join reading challenges: Still no problem here. I think I’ve permanently kicked the habit.
- I will make steady progress on all reading projects: I’m “on pace” reading Orange nominees, Booker winners, and Virago Modern Classics.
- I will make a noticeable dent in my stacks: This was a FAIL in the first quarter, and I don’t have much more to show for myself at this point, either. My resolution is to read books acquired before 2010, and I read 2 that qualify (Year of Wonders and People of the Book), for a total of 3 year-to-date. I have plenty of “less dusty” books that joined the stacks during 2010, and if I count those then I’ve read 5. Well that makes me feel better. I’m still reading from my stacks, right? So it’s decided: I’m amending my resolution to read books acquired before 2011.
Qualitatively and quantitatively, this is shaping up to be a pretty good literary year. The third quarter is off to a great start with Orange July, which is a fantastic reading event (see resolution #3), and Orange nominees are usually sure-fire wins for me. Stay tuned for more orangey thoughts from me and my mascot, Pumpkin.
What have you enjoyed most about your reading this year?
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.