I’ve been spending a lot of time recently reflecting on the way that I’m currently dividing my time. As anyone who works/studies may know, it’s a really hard task to maintain a balance with ‘outside’ activities. This can be a particular problem for people who love to read. Most of us are guilty of getting in after a long day and finding the prospect of mindless TV-watching far more attractive than pulling out some Joyce or Austen. For many bibliophiles, this is the main motivation in joining book groups – a sort of ‘Weight Watchers’ form of literary accountability.
One of the major advantages of running The Book Habit is the ability to connect virtually with readers all over the world. I absolutely love reading through comments and emails from fellow bibliophiles, with recommendations or opinions on a review. I’ve thought many times about coordinating this through a virtual book club, run via this site. However, my own experiences with balancing the demands of my PhD and my reading habit suggest that there’s something additional that might help us all. For about a year now, I’ve had a list of the ‘Top 100 Novels’ saved on my computer, diligently highlighting each book that I complete. It hasn’t guided my reading choices, but has served more as a kind of incidental register of my progress.
In order to reboot and widen my reading – and to encourage you to do the same – I’ve decided to use this list as the basis for a new reading challenge. My reviews will not be restricted to the list and I fully anticipate many diversions. However, my intention is to work my way down the list, with you (hopefully) as a participant. So look out for future posts that will keep you informed about what’s being read, and when my review will be posted!
SO….let the Challenge begin! First up – #100: The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen.