Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Rules for My 50 Book Challenge

Because my blog is law and letters, I think I am going to expand the rules to permit non-fiction works, so long as I don't use them for my dissertation. The idea of the challenge is to make me read more than I already do (which is not an insignificant amount, just unambitious), and document it so as to keep me accountable. And share the wealth with you all.

Because I don't have/watch TV, don't have Netflix and only rent/see maybe 1-2 movies a month, I don't have that as competition for my attention. No, it's the hours I waste surfing the internet mindlessly, and so I will have to put in a cut-off time each night to get in some extra-curricular reading. Anything not FMLA or org theory related is extra-curricular, and I should probably try to expand my store of knowledge, which is turning from dilettantish fox to boring hedgehog.

Also, re-reading books is something that should be encouraged, as experiencing a book at a different age teaches you something. And my memory is so crappy it's like a first read anyway. So in addition to the stack of contemporary and classic fiction I've acquired from Liberal Collge City's used bookstores, I am going to permit myself a wider array of things to count towards my 50 Books to Read On Top of the Never-Ending Stack You're Already Reading For School/Work.

So, new rules for me:

1. Re-reads permissible only if the work hasn't been read for over ten years. Heck, this means I can read Moby Dick again, because I'm not sure I remember all that much or got all that much when I read it at age 12. Being a precocious reader has its drawbacks. I should also probably re-read Madame Bovary and Ana Karenina, which I read at age 11. I mean, like I really got all that adultery and sex stuff at that age. I remember having to look up a few words when reading the introduction to Madame Bovary about Flaubert's sexual awakening and going "whoa! why would people want to do that?"

2. Non-fiction works are permissible if they are non-dissertation related, which gets separate review posts anyway (precises of the day posts). This means I get to review Brian Tamanaha's On the Rule of Law and Law As A Means To An End, and Eric Muller's American Inquisition. And these books will surely be of interest to you law folk, or those of you interested in politics and dismayed by the current state of the law.

3. New fiction genres are strongly encouraged. Bring on the science fiction and fantasy! Break down the walls of English major elitism!

4. Comic books count, and yes I call them "graphic novels." I'm sorry, Paul Gowder.

5. Works of poetry count, so long as I read the entire collection.