One of my goals for this year was to read a book each month. It seemed pretty reasonable for someone with my appetite for reading. It shouldn’t be a problem for me to find a little time each month to read through a couple hundred pages.
And I was doing pretty well for the first several months. I had one month where I read a really short book in an afternoon in order to meet the goal, but I was keeping up. I was doing well! It felt good.
And then I picked up Iron Council and things s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-e-d down. Way down. Like, holy buckets, am I ever going to make it through this thing?!
Part of my problem was that I tried reading the Oxford English dictionary at the same time as reading the book. It’s one of the wonderful, and difficult, things China Mieville. He uses words I don’t know! LOTS of words I don’t know. I’ve never heard of these words and I might be able to figure out what they mean contextually, but IT’S WORDS I DON’T KNOW! And I should! So I’d write them down if I didn’t have a dictionary nearby. Or I’d read with a dictionary on my lap and stop and look up words I didn’t know. Sometimes, I’d stop six or seven times on a SINGLE PAGE.*
It was slow. And frustrating. And a little uncomfortable because my dictionary is really big with sharp corners.**
So I finally just gave up and just started skipping the words I didn’t know just so I could finally make it through the whole book. Which I finally did on Sunday.
I started the book on our trip up north for the Barnett Reunion. At the very beginning of July. It took me until the end of October to finish it. That’s 4 months! This book went to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, and all the states between South Carolina and Pennsylvania and back.
That’s a lot of mileage for a book. I really wish I could say I enjoyed it more.
So, I missed my goal of reading a book each month because of that one taking me so forever long to finish. Which means I need to switch up my goal a little bit: instead of reading one each month, I will read one FOR each month – meaning I’ll finish 12 before the end of the year (and my year starts and ends on my birthday, BTW). So, I have to catch up on a few month’s worth of books, but I can still make my goal by reading 12 total.
So on Sunday, after finishing Iron Council, I picked up the book for the book club meeting on Saturday, The Hunger Games, and got a few pages in, just to whet my appetite.
And then I read it at lunch on Monday, and in bed on Monday before bed, and again at lunch yesterday, and then I sat there, wishing I could read all afternoon while sitting at my desk. So last night I sat and read the whole rest of the book. It’s a much shorter book. Much easier to read. I read it in two days. (Also, got me much more emotionally involved. I enjoyed this book a lot more than Iron Council.)
And I think I might hold off to start anything new until after the book club meeting just so I can keep the characters and story fresh in my mind, but it was really fun – sitting down and inhaling a book that quickly. It reminded me of why I used to put my book under the mattress of my bunk bed in college. Because my roommate could see it there (she was on the lower bunk) and help make sure I was actually doing my homework instead of reading all night long. Because I would. I did it many times. The next day was almost always awful.
Anyway, that’s what I was doing last night, instead of baking cookies or calling Sara, whose birthday was yesterday and who I thought about calling all day long until I got swallowed up by that book. (Sorry, Sara! Happy Birthday!!) I got to bed around 11:30. This morning was rough.
I think I’ll read Dawn of the Dreadfuls next. Sounds like a great book to read on Sunday.
* This really makes me want an e-book reader with built-in dictionary. This would go so much faster!!
** E-book reader also so much lighter!