|The Ouija Board option!|
At the beginning of the year, I perused several articles on how to plan one's reading. I love these articles, because they have subheadings and bullet lists. Subheadings I'd like to see: "Color-Coded Genre Countdown!""The Ouija Board Option!" And I would enjoy a sidebar on essential oils to soothe the anxious reader. The typical reader apparently passes out on the fainting couch while choosing between Jane Eyre and The Man without Qualities.
On New Year's Eve, fretful readers pore over their book journals and spreadsheets, scribbling titles and authors in their planners, then crossing out Robert Musil several times, fiercely, because they do not want to read The Man without Qualities. (Nor do I.)
On New Year's Eve, many plans are made. But perhaps on New Year's Eve, you were partying at a literary bar or club - perhaps one mentioned in Jay McInerney's '80s classic, Bright Lights, Big City, or Natalie Standiford's 2020 debut novel, Astrid Knows All. I hope you didn't catch the virus.
Parties seldom go smoothly, planning one's reading goes even less smoothly. A few years ago I bought a planner at Target. I loved making checklists. Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman, 70 pages a day: no checkmark. Gun Island, Ghosh: no checkmark. Lucky Per: no checkmark. I did cross off Ludmilla Ulitskaya's Jacob's Ladder and Russell H. Greenan's The Secret Life of Algernon Pendleton. But the books I read were rarely on the checklist.
|I loved this book.|
The other day I came across an old paperback copy of Antonia Fraser's biography of Mary Queen of Scots. I wonder, if I took a "Wikipedia refresher class" (depending on the quality of info), could I start in medias res? But I won't add it to the checklist.
Do you plan your reading or wing it? Everybody has a different system, or no system at all. I have a system, but it is sometimes no system.