Reducing my reading load in 2013 and onward allowed me to:
- Write longer, more in-depth reviews. At no point in 2012 did I write such lengthy analyses as, say, January 2016's take on Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz, or this past Christmas's "November" entry on The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman. Easing off on my raw reading load has hopefully resulted in more reviews that'll stand the test of time.
- Write more entries comparing fiction to other media. Examples: August 2016's discussion of the use of technology to learn William Shakespeare's The Tempest; July 2018's "Design Space in Fiction" (comparing fiction to card game design). Whatever value you find in these, it's probably greater than a prosaic box-ticking stating that I have indeed read The Hunger Games.
- Selectively pick out "Bonus Books", which are like a cross between Book a Week and the usual Book a Month. Example: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
- Live the rest of my life! There's no way I'd do everything from support Toronto Cat Rescue to make my own homemade hot sauce if I still read and reviewed 52 books each year. On the upside, joining a gym has actually made me read more books, as the transit rides to and from the gym are great reading opportunities.
2019 presents a unique opportunity, though: an abundance of public transit rides, combined with a recent surge of trips to used book stores, means I now have my largest to-read pile since 2012. Exactly how fast I get through them will depend on the rest of life, but here's a short sampling in no order:
- February's Book (this will be reviewed very soon, and also tied into other media!)
- Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher
- Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (yes, I have the first one too)
- Lord Brocktree by Brian Jacques (because when you can have more Redwall...)
- Dancing in the Dark by Morris Dickstein
- Palimpsest by Matthew Battles
Whether this list gets me to July, we'll see. There may have to be a spreadsheet categorizing them all by genre, though...