My Ten Year Reading Plan

July 12th, 2006

book iconOne of the webblogs I like to read is Scott Lynch’s The Dork Lord on His Dork Throne. I started reading Scott’s blog because it’s interesting, funny, and well written. Scott is a volunteer fireman, and his stories of his fire and rescue calls are what hooked me on his site. I later learned that Scott is an aspiring fantasy author, and he just published his first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. One day in January, Scott wrote a post about a Five Year Project of his: to read every novel that has won the Hugo, Nebula, Philip K Dick, Arthur C Clarke, Bram Stoker, or World Fantasy awards. He even has a nice web page dedicated to his project, complete with a color coded table of books.

I thought his Project was a great idea and asked if I could steal it. Scott graciously said sure. However, I needed to make a few modifications to the plan. First, I’m not wild about the fantasy and horror genres, so I eliminated the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards. Second, in order to make the plan attainable, I gave myself ten years instead of five. With those modifications, Scott’s Five Year Project turned into my Ten Year Plan.

I started my plan in January by picking up Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver, an unfortunate place to start, but it was a book I’d been wanting to read anyway. The first problem with Quicksilver is that it’s the first of a trilogy of books, The Baroque Cycle, each of which is in the neighborhood of 900 pages long. Although Quicksilver is the only book of the trilogy in the Plan, I have wanted to read all three of the books. The second problem with Stephenson’s trilogy is that it’s tough sledding. Not only are the books long, but at times they’re tedious. So that’s nearly 2,700 difficult pages before I can make more progress in the Plan. In April I finished Quicksilver, I read the second novel, The Confusion, in May, and I am now well on my way through the third volume, The System of the World.

Last Friday I decided that I need a break from Stephenson, so I went to the Pearland branch of the Brazoria County Public Library in search of Hugo or Nebula award winners that I hadn’t read. I came home with Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls and Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio. I read Paladin over the weekend and now I’ve started on Darwin’s Radio. I also checked out Philip K Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. It’s not an award-winner, so it’s not in the Plan, but because there’s a new movie version of it, and because I happened to see it on the shelves, I grabbed it.

I’ve been told that people are more likely to reach goals, especially difficult goals, if they make their intentions public. So here’s my announcement: I’m going to read all these books. Check back here in ten years, and I’ll let you know how I’ve done.

And now.. I’m off to tune in Darwin’s Radio.

One Response to “My Ten Year Reading Plan”

  1. Leigh Ann Says:

    Neat idea!