Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Slight Downward Adjustment to My Resolutions

You might recall that the first of my 2012 project-based resolutions was to read both Infinite Jest and REAMDE in January. I knew it was a lofty goal &mdash both of these books are monsters — but I underestimated just how lofty it was.

Turns out it is simply too high for me to reach.

I started with Infinite Jest. My Nook Color says that this novel is 1,427 pages long. Assuming we omit the table of contents, title page, half-pages at the end of chapters, etc., the number of actual pages of reading comes down to about 1,394. I started reading on December 29, so I ultimately have 34 days in which to complete my first resolution project.
Infinite Jest
Not actual size.
Image via Wikipedia

Simple math shows that I must read an average of 41 pages per day to finish Infinite Jest by month's end.

And that's just the first book. Add REAMDE's 1,042 pages, and I would have to ingest 71 pages a day to read them both before February gets here, while keeping up my day job, my freelance work, my participation in the Indiana Wind Symphony, my responsibilities as a father, and this blog (to which, you might have noticed, posts have become rarer since I started this resolution project).

Infinite Jest is not an easy book to read, either. Reading 41 pages a day from this tome takes more time and more brain power than reading 41 pages a day of, say, the Hunger Games trilogy, or Stephen King, or even Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles.

Today, I'm on page 230, plus another 20 pages of endnotes. Under the original resolution, I should have gotten this far some time on New Year's Day.

I've come to the conclusion that I set myself up to do the impossible, so I am downgrading this resolution project to make it possible. Or at least plausible. If I can finish Infinite Jest by month's end, I'll be content. I'll read REAMDE after that, at my leisure, while I work on a clarinet solo.

This way, I'm only 281 pages, or about week, behind.
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