The tax return is in, and after paying off a hefty vehicle bill, I have taken the privilege of ordering summer books. Is summer everyone’s favorite time to read? It wasn’t when I was child or teen because I was go, go, go and baseball, fish, baseball. But now, as I’ve grown older I think it has become my favorite time to read. The pages of books warm up, and the entirety of my community setting becomes a place to indulge in good books. I can read outside, on the porch, in the hammock, or under a tree miles from the drone of any vehicle or lawnmower. Of course I’m still working full time, but the hours off work become a homogeneous existence of reading, fly fishing, and some camping. I’ve certainly read more this semester than ever before, volume wise. So how will I challenge myself to continue forward with this reading habit?
I’ve done some math and I figure right now I’m reading about 400-600 pages a week. This may not be a lot for some people but it is a heavy load for me. I’ve done the Kittle time clock and I think I can read at a rate of 50-70 pages an hour in the young adult genre, and can read 20-30 pages an hour in the genre of adult fiction/nonfiction/challenging texts. Since I will be reading mostly in this second category this summer, I will base my reading off of that rate. I’d like to average two hours of reading a day, and I’m setting that a little low in order to account for days when I push ahead of that mark. So, I’m going to set a goal of 75 pages a day, which puts me at approximately 500 pages a week. In otherwords, two books a week by the numbers. Two books a week, over roughly thirteen weeks, would give me the goal of twenty six books this summer. I can’t think of anything lucky about the number twenty six, except it being my current age. I have the courage to reach for that mark.
What am I going to read? Twenty six books is a lot to plan for. I’ve never read that many books in a summer, and it’s not close. I will start with a favorite author of mind, whose anthology I would like to complete; Cormac McCarthy. My first four books will be Blood Meridian, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain, and Suttree. Moving on from there I will go to Cather with Death Comes for the Archbishop. I’d like to be done with those by the end of May. Entering the dog days of summer I will reach to Jim Harrison and the books Dalva, Legends of the Fall, True North, and The River Swimmer. When the weather really gets hot and sticky I will continue with Faulkner and the follwing titles: The Reivers, Absalom! Absalom!, Intruder in the Dust, Seven Short Story Volumes. I’m about halfway with these books I have mentioned. This might be a good time to read some more young adult books. Maybe a slew of graphic novels to get my numbers up, and what do I care about numbers, I just like graphic novels. Random books that I want to read are The Idiot by Dostoevsky, Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.
If I read twenty six books I will be really surprised with myself and I foresee myself landing in the thirteen to fourteen range, but the goal is there. As far as discipline goes, the only way to read more is to hold myself accountable. Reading will stay a habit because I love books, so I’m not to worried about that. Also finding good books to read shouldn’t be too hard with the internet at hand. Another goal of mine this summer is to find two or three more “go-to” authors. I wish everyone the best of luck in their reading lives this summer!