I've read 298 books since I began this blog in 2006, 150 of which were read that first year (I still have no idea how I did that). Each year, I've set a goal, and I usually achieve it.
After picking up Blood Meridian, I read five pages, then thought, "I know this story." Checked the archives - sure enough, I read it in 2006. I started Going After Cacciato. Same thing. I've read broadly and deeply and now it is time to make a change.
My experience with reading new authors has been invigorating, but often one of the books will reference something in the past that interests me and I have to ignore the impulse to explore deeper. After all, there are books in the "fridge" and on my desk and the library is calling to tell me more have come in. Now that my time is heart-wrenchingly limited, I've decided to bump up my 2009 goal to an early October start.
I'm going to play a game called connect-the-dots. Remember those pages from kindergarten? You could see what the figure would end up being (a sailboat or the letter B), but you still dragged your pencil from 1 to 2 to 3. If I read a book that references another book, I'm going to read that other book. If I read a book that is amazing, I'm going to go straight to the author's other titles. If my pencil hits the last number in the dot connection, I'll tell you and start from scratch.
You won't be able to see what I'm about to read because *I* don't know what I'm about to read. I just want to see how long I can stretch things out; for example, the Man Booker prize nominees. That was a fun ride.
This may drive me crazy. I love getting stacks of books from the library or knowing that I have something to clutch after turning the last page of another novel. But, in the same way, it's an adventure. The naked reader, stripped of all expectations other than the book in my hand and what it may whisper into my consciousness.