Always something thrilling about the beginning of the new year — new beginnings, new opportunities to work on shiz you’ve been trying to work on the past couple of years or so, new humiliations and mortifications, new reasons to hope and be giddy, new encounters with the Universe that’ll make you thankful atoms converged and long-disappeared stars once conspired to create this lanky 21-year-old with a head of curls and bad eyes. Hello, 2011. We shall kick-ass.
2010 was an amazing year for reading, and I’m fully aware that the existence of this blog is primarily to thank for that.
I know I haven’t done with the formalities of specifying — or the attempt of — what reading means to me. Yes, I know that each one of us carries something special about this act, this lifestyle — but I like to believe that there’s always something different in every reader: Why pick up a novel about a football jock and a kindergarten teacher after a long day? Why frantically search the shelves for a book by some long-dead Frenchman the day after one’s first kiss? Why, with much confidence, flip through yellowing pages, when asked to define something as ineffable as the curve of a woman’s spine when she is certain of being loved, or the gradual lifting of grief upon writing the first lines in a mourning diary?
Some other time, perhaps. [Know that I’ve been reading a lot of Books About Books lately — not only for the words, and the personalities, but that feeling of camaraderie, the thought that as solitary an act reading often is, one isn’t really alone, for so long as one lifts her head from the books once in a while and notice all the other readers with their heads bent close to their books.]
For now, let us look to the future. Here is a list of what I want to do this coming year, reading-wise [because you don’t really need to know about my fervent wish to finally get to devour a lobster, or have a Big Mac to myself] — And although some might argue that I am just dithering with semantics, I resist calling these resolutions. They are just plans that I would like to be, erm, resolute in fulfilling. Yes, that:
[#01] A pet project I’m excited to fully commit to: The Classics Project 2011, particularly the NYRB Classics Reading Project and the OWC Reading Project. Here is what I have been up to, and this one is my please-grow-more-please stack of books to read for this project.
[#02] To read the books that have been on my TBR for at least a year now. Goodness. Also, hell, that’s a very vague objective. So, one thing I’m certain of: I will read most, if not, all, of the books I bought in 2010. I went crazy with the hoarding last year — had my first job, happily plunked into this second one. It’s madness, but it’ll be fun. I mean, cripes, I can’t stand the guilt anymore — those books baleful faces, their whimpers when I enter the room.
[#03] To reread favorites [and talk about them better]! Off the top of my head: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, and Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in the Lydia Davis translation. Yummy. More importantly — I need to get myself a trunk of Harry Potter books. I need them in my life once again. The books that I devoured growing up, well, they won’t come no matter how madly I yell “Accio Childhood!”
[#04] To stop buying and/or reading books just because it might seem like a nice thing to feature on the blog. I have noticed this little evil demon rearing its ugly head once in a while. Oh, reading a book because you read a bloggie friend loving it — that’s different, and it has never crossed my mind to stop that aspect of my reading life. I mean more of the whole contrived, “Ooh, this’ll look great on the blog.” It’s a stupid reason to shell out money for, money that could be used for other books. Or those boots I’ve been drooling at for months now.
[#05] To build a library, modest it may be. I’ll be moving in to a new house any day now — surprise! — and there’s this wonderful room with an unbroken line of wall and natural light streaming in: It’s screaming for shelves and my books, and a desk here, and there. Oh, yummy. And, to help me with this: the never-ending list of books that I direly need in my life. Yes, this is at odds with some of the points above. I am fully aware of that. Very much aware.
[#06] [ETA!] D’oh, how could I forget? I have been unearthing my long-neglected, modest collection of the AwesomeSauciest of Philippine Literature, and I am going to read them, oh yes, I am.
[#07] And, if all else fails, read less. Hm.
Yeah, that. Heh. I shall endeavor not to bore you any more than I already have. Wee, blabby Sasha. Hi there, 2011. I see you. You better make me giggle a lot.