Saturday, 2 February 2013

January and reading objectives

Three books in January. Three. THREE.
That's really shit.
It gets worse when you consider that all three were for my American Fiction module at university.

Admittedly, 8 days of January were taken up by mass panic about essays, but that's still a book every 7 days or so, which doesn't feel great. However, when I think about it, I did 53 last year, 56 the year before, so around one a week - I should be reading far more. This years 'goal', loosely termed, is 75 books, of which around 40 should be my own choices and 35 university related, though there is bound to be overlaps once I start on my dissertation in third year (tentatively titled 'The Urban Space in Contemporary Secondary World Fiction'). Of these, moving on from my last log, I hope for at least 20-25 (33%) to be women writers. I aim for 50, but my literature course is overtly male biased in terms of reading (a paltry 3 of 21 complete novels read for my 8 modules last year whereby women) so that seems unrealistic.

Today also saw a trip for myself and my girlfriend to Foyles and Forbidden Planet, for my Valentine's Day gift: £60 worth of books and a subscription to Interzone magazine. I finally picked up a few 'classics' I'd been planning to get - Roadside Picnic and The Prestige, as well as both James Smythe and Myke Cole's new books, as well as an anthology and Costa Prize winning biography/graphic novel 'Dotter of her Father's Eyes'.

As I picked up both the 'classics' above I also made the conscious decision to attempt, slowly but surely, to acquire all the SF Masterworks series, both old and new. Both Old and New titles are beautiful books, but on top of that they will improve my knowledge of SF immeasurably. If your interest in SF goes beyond 'its shit and for children' (I.e. you are a fully rational and independent Human, capable of some degree of autonomy) I'd recommend picking up someone from that series just to see the best at SF has to offer - I'd go for Flowers for Algernon myself.

On top of this, my other purchasing aim is to get all the old-style covered Discworld books. They'd look ace on my bookshelf. Worthy aims, all, I think.

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