The Three Rs

(Or rather two Rs and a W.)

Note: I originally started writing this post on 3 November, and that’s the date you’ll see at the top of the post. I’d intended to finish writing the post on 3 November as well. However, my memory had other ideas. I’m traveling about a bit this weekend – visiting people and doing my nerdy pastimes. Unfortunately, I managed to leave behind the cable to my laptop. A quick rush to an Apple store on Friday morning to invest in a spare cable (one that can live in my suitcase and travel round with me when need be) has rectified the situation and I’ll be able to do some writing. It does mean, though, that this post that is claiming to be from 3 November will have been written in stolen moments over the weekend while nerding it up.

Reading

Over the next two weeks, I should finish reading my 50th (Superfreakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt), 51st (Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson) and 52nd (The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric) books of the year. Given that I’d originally planned to read only 26 books and there’ll still be a little over a month of the year left to read some more, it’s not bad going. At the very least, it will mean I’ll have cut a little bit further into the 300+ unread books that were sat on my shelf at the beginning of the year.

So far Superfreakonomics is proving to be interesting (although I’m familiar with some of its contents thanks to listening to the Freakonomics podcast). Death’s Daughter is entertaining and – as I’m only a handful of chapters in – I’m looking forward to getting deeper into its story. The Book of Human Skin is tending to be a bit more of a struggle than the other two. I find that books tend to set their own reading pace, and this one’s pace is a little slower than others I’ve read recently.

(W)riting

Work on The Vasini Chronicles II is progressing. I’m about 80,000 words into the first draft. This draft will likely end up around 140,000 mark, but will need to be cut back quite severely. There are some parts that I already really like, there’s other bits that will need some work, and there will be some bits that are likely to disappear very early on in editing and will never be heard of again.

I’m also editing a novella set in Vasini. It will, if all goes well, make an appearance around the middle of next year alongside a short(ish) story also set in Vasini.

Releases

And speaking of releases, don’t forget The City Between the Books & The Bridge People – two short(ish) stories – are available to pre-order as an eBook on Amazon and iBooks and will be available to buy from 14 November. They’re also accompanied by the first chapter of The Silver Mask, all for only 99p (in the UK. For those outside of the UK, please check your local US, Australian, New Zealand or EU-based Amazon or iBooks store for pricing.)

I have a problem

I’ve just counted how many books I have on my shelves that I have yet to read.

293.

And that’s just the ones on the main bookshelves. No doubt I’ll uncover others hiding in corners at some point. I might even uncover that copy of Anansi Boys that seems to have runaway.

I always knew it was quite a lot – I’d estimated about 100 or so – but I wasn’t quite expecting it to be that high.

It’s been going on for years. I’ll buy a handful of books and then only read some of them before I buy the next batch. Add in presents and those that I’ve rescued from friends and family who were about to get rid of them, and you start to well…end up with 293 unread books on your bookshelves.

The Japanese apparently have a word for it: Tsundoku.

I don’t seem to have the worst case of it. This BBC article references a forum that requires a person to have over 1,000 unread books on their shelves. But if I keep to my current reading rate – 43 books so far this year and on target to read 52 by 30 December – then I should be through them in just under six years. Although this raises another issue: even if I keep to 52 books a year, I’ll only read 1,560 books in the next 30 years. It’s thoughts like this that make me feel sad when I spend too long in a bookshop – what about all the books I won’t get to read?

I’m still attempting to put together a list of all the books I’ve read over at Goodreads (minus those that I’ve used as research that might hint at future plot points). Once my memory runs dry, I’ll start adding all the unread books sitting on the shelf.

PS – I’ve just been sent a link to this Barnes & Noble article. Personally, I think there’s only one question you need to ask as to whether to keep a book or not: do I want this book on my bookshelf? But then again, I quite like the thought of living in a library.

Silence

When, in my last post, I commented that blogging was becoming more habitual, it became almost inevitable that I wouldn’t blog for a while. First it was not having any news which then merged into a long weekend standing in a field and then became a week-long holiday in the Lake District. But the silence is now over.

To be truthful, I haven’t been completely silent. Over on my Goodreads page, I’ve slowly been trying to piece together a list of all the books I’ve read – the good, the bad and the did I really read that? There’s still some way to go.

Also, reviews for The Silver Mask have started appearing on Amazon and Goodreads. Go have a look if you’re deciding whether to read The Silver Mask. And if you’ve already read it, please do leave your own reviews to help others decide whether it’s worth a read.

Please can Michael Palin get out of my head

Recently I’ve been listening to Michael Palin narrate the third of his series of diaries – Travelling to Work.

Enjoyable though it is, it’s had the side effect of a tendency, when reading other books, for my own internal narrator to start sounding like him.

Stranger still, I’ve found myself waking up in the mornings ear wormed by his voice; a   low-level narration sitting just underneath my own thoughts.

Perhaps it would be best not listen to him just before I sleep.

Damn it! I’m even reading these words in his voice.