The concept stems from two sources: 1) my desire to get a ton of things read and 2) an answer to those who say that they would read more if they "just have the time". The former is self-explanatory. The latter is largely self-explanatory, but I will go ahead and elaborate slightly. I have plenty of friends who are bibliophiles but read less than a book a month, a contradiction at face value, but a contradiction often supported by the fact that many of my friend are college students with busy workloads and/or a job and/or volunteer work. I am currently working at two basic jobs (bookstore manager and webmaster) and so I understand how tiring it can be to come home and then try to concentrate on anything.
I just sort of wanted to show that it could be done.
I am strongly of the belief that we spend several hours a day (at least 1-2) in sort of a limbo state, staring into space or browsing the internet with no purpose. Chances are, if you are one of my friends, then well thank you for spending your wayward hour here. Maybe the limbo state is in bed, trying to relax, or in an extra long shower. My overall point is that we could read about 100 pages a day if we took that time spent doing more or less nothing and put into active pursuits of the mind. 100 pages a day is 3000 pages a month, or about six good novels. This is significant.
I started the "Winter of Reading Lots" (a name meant to be somewhat hokey, I assure you) on the first week of September, in which there were 20 weeks left in the year. I set the goal that I would average one book a week until the end of the year, or more, and would therefore read 20 books. For every book that I did not read, or books below 20, I would dedicated 3 hours to community service sometime after the New Year.
There are some guidelines. Books are designated as being 200 pages of fiction and non-fiction, 100 pages of poetry, or 300 pages of graphic novels. The latter two are actually probably lesser in time consumption than the former, but that's ok, its my challenge. Books can be added up to via several smaller novellas and the like. This challenge has to challenge me, so I roughly 1/3 of them have to be considered classics or at least literary. Roughly 1/3 have to be contemporary. 2 need to be non-fiction. There should be a mix of genres. A couple of new writers.
A lot of this is subjective. I will be the final judge. This is for nothing but self-edification. But it seems to be a lot of fun, so I enjoy it.
Update: Now that I have finished the "technical requirements" of WORL (with Study in Scarlet finishing it, I have decided to rewrite the list to count books individually, as opposed in their "book" count. This means that shorter books no longer count 1/2 a book, but as a single book each. The reason of this is just to lay out what I have read. I will also change the list over to a simple bulleted one, instead of a numbered one.
It has been fun, and I recommend everyone do it.
Also, I will include CASSARC's readings in it as well.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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