The Complexities of Being a Book Nerd

The life of a book nerd can be a confusing one. I have so many conflicting moments, I find it hard to know what is actually going on inside my own head. Let’s start with a recent bookish existential crisis I had. I have talked about this previously; I worked out that if I was to live for another fifty years, I would only get to around five thousand books. This really stuck with me, I decided to set myself a task. I called it Project 5000, and the goal was to make every book count. Before picking up a book, I think to myself “Is this a book that I would want to include in the 5000?” My goal was not to read anything that I only had a minor interest in and focus on the books that really interested me.

Lately I have been having a completely different train of thought; I have been thinking more about re-reading. While I know I have so many books I want to get to and only have a limited amount of time, the desire to go back to older books directly contradicts my goals behind Project 5000. However, I have grown as a person and a reader, and there are many books that are crying out to be re-read. While watching The Gilmore Girls, I was drawn to a profound quote by Richard Gilmore, “a good book takes a lifetime to read”. This idea has haunted me for a while; the whole idea that great books need to be constantly returned to just feels right. I have read Frankenstein multiple times; I had at one point planned to re-read it every year. While that has not worked out, I still feel drawn to return to it. I would also like to re-read more of my favourites, like Crime and Punishment or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It is not just favourites, I would love to dip into the Foundation series again or just see how I feel about The Catcher in the Rye now I have grown as a reader.

I seem to go in cycles for my reading desires, at the moment I want to read philosophy but that will change. One month I could be interested in reading Russian classics and the next I might be craving science fiction or pulp novels. I can never plan out my reading because I never know what I will be interested in reading. I have a huge interest in the Soviet era, philosophy and books in translation, so I do know that my reading may often be linked to one of those interests. That does not make my reading life any easier, there is so much out there to explore.

One major issue I feel I have is the fact that I feel so far behind in my reading journey. There are so many books out there that I should have read already. This is ridiculous, I know I have read so many great books and should be proud of my reading journey. I am cursed with a never ending TBR pile and I have to find ways to manage that.

Currently I am already planning my reading goals for 2017. I know I will continue my journey in having more than 50% of my reading be translations (currently it is 46% for 2016 and trending upwards). I want to read more non-fiction (9 books this year) and more re-reading (only three this year). I do not want to commit to these goals just yet, I have to think on this some more. However I wanted to give you some insights into what goes on in my head and just how complex being book nerd can be.

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