What Is This Thing Made of Paper and Glue?

All the reading I need to do can happen in Google Reader, right?

I read a lot of books last year. Like, maybe 50. I didn’t post or write about many of them, because plenty were über-pulpy and just time-killers. All but the couple of technical books were electronic. Being unaware of what I was reading made it pointless. Why’d I pick those books? What’d I learn from them? Meh.

So I resumed The Callahan Chronicles recently in an effort to read something meaty again. I’m inexperienced with reading short stories. I never liked them in my teenage years–I liked (and still do) long novels and novel series. Callahan actually gives me some of that, with the multitude of stories in the same continuity and in a novel-length binding.

Um… is Callahan being my reentry to conscious reading an indicator of how pulpy my reads were last year? Callahan is pretty good, but I wouldn’t call it frou-frou high art.

The kicker is, carrying paper books is annoying. Like, annoying. Creasy spines, they don’t lay flat or stay open, and the covers get bent up when I carry it around. My Kindle/iPhone has definitely spoiled me. I’ll get all the way upstairs and realize that I’ve got my phone in one hand and my book is all the way down there.

Fer skerious. How am I supposed to read when the book won’t just attach itself to me and spring forth fully formed when I want it?

I’ve got an entire shelf on a bookcase in my bedroom full of books I need to read, many of them loaned (from whom is probably lost knowledge). Last weekend, in the process of migrating to a new to-do notebook, I went through those and the running list I kept on paper of books I wanted to read. Woe unto any of my Goodreads friends, because I think they got 50-something updates from me of books added to my “to-read” list.

I toyed with the idea of starting at the top of the list and working my way down. Trouble is, Shadowfever is coming out, like, Tuesday, and I’m totally going to read that before I read The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Sorry, Gibbon. You’ve been in my list for years, but I’ve been waiting on Shadowfever for months.

Greg suggested reading a handful from the list, then reading something off-list, á la The Stack‘s point system.

My thought so far: regardless of whatever I have an extra-listal affair (and Shadowfever is now on the list), I’m going to get that list down below 100 items and write on at least one out of three of them. Why the hell are they on my “to-read” list if I don’t read them? So that I sound smart?

Now I just have to hope I won’t add new books to the list faster than I read them. Damn you, NPR.

It’s an experiment! (Hopefully not merely a “noble” one.)