Oct 29, 2014

The Announcement and The Challenge

[Adapted from my Facebook post - syndicated to G+ and Twitter.]

It's time to announce the November project!

After doing a full rewatch of Gilmore Girls earlier this month I realized how ridiculously well-read Rory is. Upon further research, it seems the Internet agrees with me. I used to think I was well-read. I mean, I'd read for pleasure, for school, in my spare time, and whenever I got a chance I would go to the local library and spend hours in there. The librarians knew me. But that was when I was a kid. I'd say that after my YA obsession died down a few years ago, so did my reading ability.

Nowadays, it takes me weeks to finish a book -- even smaller ones. All I read are strongly popular books, books written by author friends, and debut novel galleys. I don't like this. I shouldn't be reading a book so I can catch up with a TV show or because a movie is coming out of a book I haven't read. I should read because I want to. Because I love it. I live even closer to the library now and 99% of the time I go in there it's to buy a soda or get change for the bus.

Couple my desire to be well-read with my desire to cut down on my TV consumption and social media chatter (that which is not work/projects related) and you have my November project. Starting November 1 - and instead of doing NaNoWriMo (which I've attempted and failed several times thankyouverymuch -- maybe next year?) - I'm jumpstarting a book blog I've been meaning to start for a few years. Sure, my Tumblr was effectively the book blog that got me into book events, but this will be a real, earnest attempt at analysis, reviews, and commentary.

As inspiration, I'm using the "Read Like Rory" challenge, which is essentially every book mentioned, quoted, or seen on Gilmore Girls, as a reading list. I've read a bunch of those (plus the lists you find on sites like Buzzfeed, etc are incorrect/incomplete) so I'll eliminate those I've already read or don't want to read again. I'll also be choosing them in no particular order, but probably alternating them in some fashion. Say a classic, then a modern novel, then a nonfiction or children's novel. I'm also going to try and finish the few books I started ages ago on Goodreads that have been sitting on my Currently Reading shelf for years. Because they just annoy me. I won't get to read them all (there's over 300), but I might have never picked them up without Rory to inspire me.

This will be a challenge. I'm sure some of you are already saying "how will you fit all this book reading into your busy job-seeking/working/TV-watching/running schedule?" By cutting something out. A few things, actually. There's only a few shows I need to watch as they air (for fear of spoilers), so I'm limiting my weekly consumption to 5-6 hours of TV per week. YES. That is a big cut-down for someone who was watching 6-8 hours PER DAY. If I can quit smoking, I can cut back on this. Also, I'll refrain from idle chatter and musings on Facebook/Twitter/G+ that aren't work-related (as in something I've been elected/hired to post/update). I won't even promote my blog here or let you know when there's a post up (other than the link below).

It's a trial - 30 days to see how many books I can read. I'm going to shoot for 10 as a lowball number. I mean, it's setting the bar low, but I've not read ten (regularly sized) books in 30 days since I was a child. If I do more, great. After November, I'll see how I feel and readjust in some way, but the crash diet cut back is for the 30 days only.

I've got a friend joining me in her own book blogging pursuits and I'm really hoping to make a change for the month, albeit a drastic one. This doesn't mean I won't be in contact with you all. I'm still reachable by FB, Twitter, texting, phone and/or email. But you'll hear from me FAR LESS next month because I'll be busy reading, working, and writing. I'm going to try for an entry a day, but I'll probably take a pass if a book is super good or if I need a personal day (or on Thanksgiving/Black Friday).

I hope you'll read a book (or two) with me or follow along as I attempt this challenging project. All I can say is: thank goodness I have a DVR now.


So there it is: now the world knows. I've accumulated a healthy portion of most of the books. If there's something I couldn't download or buy I will just go to the library and hope they have it (or that I can reserve it). Luckily it's getting chillier so the only reason I want to go out is to be active (walk, run for fitness or training). It's not like the outdoors will be a distraction. I've also preemptively caught up on the DVR and am watching live through Friday night. If you're wondering what the five or six shows are, here is my selection of unmissable TV:

Doctor Who (which will end in a few weeks and get replaced with something)
The Walking Dead
The X Factor (which also includes a results show but I usually fast forward through that)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Downton Abbey (which will also likely end and get replaced)

Yes, I won't watch a few weeks of Supernatural, Scandal, Castle or Bones, but I've gone weeks without them before, what's a few more? And with all the time I won't be spending on social networks, hopefully I won't get spoiled. Guess I'll have to excuse myself when friends start to discuss these shows in real life. I think with three sports seasons in swing I won't have to worry about distractions from one roommate and I'll have to stay out of the room when the other one is watching something. That's settled.

I'm going to be reading a bit for the next two days, but I may/may not review/write about what I read. I'm literally in the middle of five books right now (that I've been reading for anywhere between one month and 3 years, so yeah, don't be shocked by that) so I just want to see how fast my current pace is in prep for November 1.

It's going to be hard; I know this. But if I can run a 5K (which I did for the first time this past weekend) I really feel like I can do anything. I'm UNSTOPPABLE, y'all.