I finished reading The Hobbit this week. And I’m nearly done with Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I started this project 12 months ago, so this is a great time to check my progress and evaluate my reading pace as compared to my goal. If that last sentence felt controlled, you should know that I manage multi-million dollar projects for a Fortune 50 company. Charting progress against a measurable goal is like breathing to me. Sorry about it.
Now then, The Hobbit was such a pleasant romp as compared to Gone with the Wind. Unlike my sequence of book-reading vs movie-viewing for The Lord of the Rings books, I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before I read the book. Having finished the book, I can say dividing the book into tree movies was a poor choice. The book has a nice brisk pace to it; it’s exciting to read. The first movie was a total snooze in comparison. I enjoyed this book very much. Don’t let the movie dissuade you from picking it up.
I have been reading for 12 months. With seventeen books under my belt, I have averaged 1.42 books read per month. Since I have 30 months remaining and 67 books left to read, I will need to increase my pace to 2.23 books read per month. That’s a 36% increase. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, I did read other stuff this year. I browsed my subscriptions to the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Economist. On top of that, I read I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”, What do Women Want?, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. These books were great for very different reasons. I didn’t write about them here, mostly because they aren’t on my list.
I am thinking that if I cut out that other reading, I should make my goals. It’s just tough to keep at that list. Most of the books are pretty tough reading and cover emotionally difficult subject matter. The Grapes of Wrath is coming up, for example. I am sure I will learn a lot from that book and value my experience reading it. But let’s be honest, if we all wanted to live in the reality of The Great Depression wouldn’t we have chosen to stay there? Exactly. I need to stop writing and read…