I’ve been thinking a lot about “reading plans” lately. I’ve been browsing through The Joy of Reading by Mark van Doren and realized that the end of my life is actually in sight. (It’s not close, but it’s not so distant as to be unthinkable anymore. I’m not depressed about this either, so don’t worry about me.) And in my lifetime, I’m only going to be able to read a finite number of books.
I don’t have any means of knowing how many books I have left in me to read, but it does occur to me that there are some great books I want to experience before I die, and I should start doing some planning in order to actually get some of them read.
If I live to be 80 years old, and I read 52 books a year (one a week), then I’ve got about 2000 books left in me.
I guess if I wanted to create a lifetime reading plan, I’d make a list of 2000 books and get started on them. But at the same time, that would eliminate the possibility of reading any books that are written between now and 2050. I guess that a better approach would be to prioritize my reading by which books I think are most important that I read and start there.
And most lifetime reading plans I’ve seen only include a couple hundred books anyway, so I’ve got a pretty good degree of flexibility.
At any rate, here’s what I’m planning to read in January of 2009, and only one of them is really what you’d think of as a traditional lifetime reading selection:
- The Killer Inside Me (book club selection for my book club)
- House of Leaves (another book club selection)
- A Game Of Thrones
- The Trial by Kafka, which is the classic piece of my selection
Talk about what you’re going to be reading in 2009 or in January in the comments, if you like.