Sunday, June 5, 2016

My new project.

I'm posting this here for accountability and self-acknowledgement of a problem.

Confession: I have no less than 128 books that I own in my room that I have not read and no less than 32 books of plays, many of which contain between 3 and 10 plays within them. And those are just mine. That's not even including the literal thousands that my father owns and additional 100 or 200 from my mother. And literal 0 from my brother.

Literally none of these are read.

None of the top shelf is read and only half of the bottom shelf is.

How did this come to be? Well, pure good fortune and a little bit of money. That many books/play probably sounds like quite the investment, but it really wasn't. First of all, most of these have been accumulated in the past 6 years or so, primarily from one source. My church. My church has a yearly book sale at which paperbacks are $1 and hardbacks are $2. That's where nearly all of these books came from. An added bonus is that my mom works at that church and at that book sale, so I can obtain these books...basically whenever.

But I don't read. Like, hardly ever. So these books have just stacked up.

These are the only ones that are read. Except for the ones stacked on the right. Those are TBR.

Or didn't, I guess is the operative word. Because this summer, I'm trying to play catch up. This will be a series on this blog so that I can feel some sense of accomplishment along the way. So I'm going to try to do some of the posts that 'booktubers' do, such as 'wrap-ups' and 'TBRs'. Maybe an in-depth review if something is amazingly good.

Now I'm going to delve into a bit of storytime. If I'm not a reader, how have I come to own so many books? Well, simply put, may of us idealize the people that we are. I've always fancied myself quite the bookwormish nerd, despite the few books that fell into my hands. It was an image for myself that I didn't think too hard about. But, if I thought this about myself, why didn't I do anything to make it true?

Well, I tried. But two things got in the way. I read a little in high school, but got caught up my sophomore year on one book. Wicked by Gregory Maguire. It took me a year to read (in which time I read very few other books if any...don't remember.) And I hated it, despite my blind adoration of musical theatre and the fact that I saw the Broadway musical within that time. But I need to finish things, so by golly, I finished it before I cast it aside, never to touch it ever again. That was definitely a roadblock.

The next roadblock is far more embarrassing. Fanfiction. I stumbled upon it when I was twelve and we got real internet (instead of dial-up) and I was hooked. I've been an avid reader of fanfiction ever since. A few years ago, I finally discovered why fanfiction always won out for me over books. While the quality of fanfiction is overwhelmingly bad--it takes a lot of time to dig up a diamond in the rough, but they are there--and books tend to be good, what with having to go through being published and all that, it came down to one simple truth that I can't refute even today. An amazing fanfiction is always going to be better than an equally amazing book, because you care about the characters more from the the get-go. Because you're seeking out those specific characters and, in all likelihood, pairing/relationship, because you already love it. So books were screwed going into this.

So yeah, I prefer my favorite fanfictions to my favorite books and have reread them numerous times. If I had to save one of them in a fire (assuming that was the only way to read both of them, lolol) I would save the fanfictions.

Obviously, the point of that story is that I essentially gave up reading books for reading internet trash. Not a fair trade, given a lot of the trash I've read, but some of these fanfictions have been truly unbelievably well-written and I've made some excellent friends through my fandoms, so I can't complain. But now it's time to pay it back to these books I've been neglecting.

To structure this for myself--as I'm a person who thrives on structure, especially self-imposed structure--I have made some rules for myself regarding reading. They are as follows:

1. Every other book I read must be a play

2. Only every 4th book/play can be one that I've read before.

3. No more than 1 non-fiction book in a row (this is not including the plays, obviously)

4. No more than 1 potato chip read in a row (these being overly-easy books.)

Crazy to most, I know, but it works for me. I suggest these kinds of rules for others who like structure to enforce reading more important books like biographies or renowned works of literature. But don't do it if it becomes too much of a chore. I will quit if it does as well.

Unfortunately, I've already strayed by checking out a lot of library books...But as soon as I'm done with those, it's onward and upwards for project read-my-dang-books-2016. Or RMDB2016. Posting my May wrap-up tomorrow.

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