Being somewhat pathetic, I keep a list of the books I read every year. I know, I know: this is sad and of no interest to anyone else but myself, however, I just thought I’d share my eccentricity with you.
What is even more pathetic is that I’m such a bookworm, I can often recall exactly in which year I read a particular book, the name of its author and rattle of a synopsis of the plot or main hypothesis (non-fiction) without the aid of the list. Tragically, I can name characters (if it’s fiction) and give some justification of why I did or didn’t like the book based on variables such as:
The book was written by Robert Jordan or a clone, in which case every female character acts like a 12 year old girl, there is no sex and the books will contain more detail about women’s clothing than Vogue. (I’ll be honest. I gave up reading Robert Jordan at Book 4 of WoT because it was so goddamn boring!)
All action and no characterisation (ie. book is written by Dan Brown or Matthew Reilly -however, these make great audiobooks for long drives)
Is written by Kate Elliott, Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell or Terry Pratchett, in which case the book is going to be very good (although Cell by Stephen King wasn’t his best)
Is about climbing mountains (especially Mt Everest)
Is travel lit, especially about long walks
Is Jane Austen or some other irrelevant pretentious twaddle that Gen-X females gobble up, in which case I already know I am going to hate it.
Is a quirky social science/psychology book, like Freakonomics or Snoop
Contains thought-provoking or profound ideas: the Snow Leopard, The Hand Maid’s Tale, American Gods, The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness spring to mind in this category
By now, I hope you’re getting the idea that I really know what I like when it comes to books (and I’m an über-nerd). Anyway, around June this year, I did something different. I set myself an arbitrary target of 30 books to read this year.
Two days ago, I achieved this target. And I must admit, have blithely continued onto book number 31!
Whilst this might be absolutely insignificant to you, it is all-pervasively important to me. You see, my ability to read and enjoy is evidence to myself (and myself alone) that I have finally recovered from depression and have my life back in order.
In other words, after 5 years I am finally whole again.
In my darkest hour, I read a paltry 9 books in a single year. Throughout these years, I averaged twelve books. Given my love of reading -I’ve been this way since I was a wee babe- reading only 9 books in a year says something is wrong, wrong wrong. Thus the profundity of my return to form.
Of course, you know that when I get old, I am probably going to become one of those little old ladies who lives with 300 white cats (that inevitably get skin cancer on their ears, have to have them cut off and end up look like possums).