Notes from a Poly-Reader: JANUARY 2021

And so begins a new year, and with it, THE GREAT PURGE. When you read a lot of books simultaneously, inevitably there are going to be some that just don’t cut the mustard. Maybe I’m just not in the right mood for them. Maybe I just didn’t have time when I picked something up, and too much time has passed, or the reason I picked it up has gone away, or any vast number of reasons a book falls out of circulation. Instead of keeping deadwood in my “currently reading” list (or feeling guilty about a growing list of books I am really not motivated to read), every year in January I re-evaluate my stack and decide what to keep moving forward and what to jettison.

Currently Reading, as of December 2020:

A couple of these books have been on the list for a while, but some are relatively new. The Color of Magic is one I really need to pick up again–it just wasn’t a priority, though it’s a fun read, and I could use a fun read. Dad is Fat has been on the list for a long time, primarily because for some reason audiobooks have been really tough to fit into my day. I may try listening to audiobooks more this coming year (I love them, really!), maybe during Goldbug’s second nap. I’ve got a bunch of others I’ve collected, and I really need my Vorkosagan Saga fix…

The White Mountains will be easy to wrap up here in January, we’re over halfway through in my reading of it to B-Bug. The Power Broker is fascinating, but it’s a physically huge paperback, which has always been the bane of my young baby reading phases (can’t hold it on your lap, can’t hold it one-handed), so I *might* consider getting it on audiobook, if I can make time for more listening. Otherwise, I’m going to need to walk around with it somehow, which AIN’T EASY. Designology is really interesting, and still relevant, so I’ll be keeping that one around. Just need to give it some focused time.

So for now, I’m going to drop Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories, because I’m trying to work my way through some other short fiction collections, and I’ve only just cracked the first story in that one after months. It’s good, though, so I will probably revisit it when I’m in the mood for some good ghost stories, which I do love, but don’t 100% love if the only time to read I have is right before bedtime… And I’m going to drop Story Trumps Structure for now, mostly because like many writing books, I feel like it’s most persuasive arguments take place in the first third of the book, and the rest so far feels a little…filler-y? It might still be worth checking all the way out at some point, but with the classes I’m taking this year, I don’t want to clog my head with too many “How To Write” concepts. (I fully admit to getting easily overwhelmed.) We’ll see, but I’m going to let that one take the dive.

Which means now is the time to look at what books are proceeding into the new year, and they are:

For January, I’m going to prioritize The White Mountains and The Color of Magic and Dad is Fat, and look at picking up another short-ish read that I can easily blow-through. If I want to hit 50 books this year, I need to be cognizant that that’s basically a book a week, with two weeks off. And with some on the list like The Power Broker, I’ll have to chip away at bigger ones on a steady basis in order to wrap them up by the end of this coming year.

So that’s the start! I’ve got some westerns in the pile to check out, so I may read one of those this month, too, but I’ve also got some Rex Stout, and lord knows I love me some Archie Goodwin, so that could make it on the list, too.

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