I'm not a re-reader. I could actually count on one hand the books I've ever re-read (well certainly no more than two hands). Life has always seemed too short to be going over old ground when there are so many new books being published every day. Of course, it's totally unrealistic to think that anyone could ever keep up with this deluge of books yet I still feel a niggling pressure to somehow keep on top of major new releases (a legacy from my bookshop days, no doubt ,where 'keeping up' was part of the job description).
There are many inherent dangers in only reading 'new releases'. The most obvious is that you're often reading ahead of reviews and have to wade through a lot of very bad books to find the gems and, let's face it, life's definately too short for that. How short I hear you ask? Well, I recently found 3000 Books which helped me crunch the numbers. If I read 30 books a year and live to the average life-expectancy of an Australian female (83) then I only have time to read another 1200 books before I shuffle off this mortal coil! Now, that really pulled me up and stiffened my resolve to stop wasting time on books that really don't deserve my attention.
So this year I'm approaching my reading from a completely different perspective.
I'm going to join Anglea over at Literary Minded in reading 20 classic, modern classic or cult books in 2011 (I've never read any Henry James, Evelyn Waugh or George Orwell)
I'm going to read things that have been waiting patiently on my shelves for many years (I'm looking at you Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy and Pat Barker's Ghost Road) and...
I'm going to re-read some of my favourite books (like The English Patient, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Middlemarch)That doesn't mean that I won't sneak in the odd new release or thriller but I like the idea of having a little project to guide me. Perhaps you'd like to join me? If you're looking for a little inspiration you might like to check out the new range of specially priced Vintage Classics at the official site here or here where you can see more books per page.
Are you a re-reader? Are you in the grip of the 'new release'? Do you have any good classics you'd like to recommend?