May 9, 2008

I received a book-a-day calendar for Christmas and–while I enjoy reading about a book a day–I can’t help but feel that my calendar mocks me. My friend Nancee is now a Literature PhD candidate at Purdue, but a decade (and three lives) ago we were English undergraduates together at Ball State. She’s always been a phenomenal reader, even by my standards and I read basically non-stop, but the demands of doctorate-level work has catapulted her into the literary stratosphere, while the demands of the non-academic world keeps me from reading as much as I’d like.

She just recently tallied her to-date 2008 totals and has over 58 books read since January 1. I’m pretty bad at math, but if I’ve calculated correctly, reading one book a week means you’d have read 52 books in a year–which would place you in an elite category of “serious readers.” Fifty-eight books in the first third of the year is just ridiculous. (Yeah, that number was from a couple of weeks ago, so she’s probably closing in on 70 by now).

So here’s this calendar offering me a book each day, when I can’t quite hit a book a week. Laugh all you want, Book-a-Day Calendar! I’ve been collecting all your interesting recommendations and saving them in my lap drawer. One of these days I’m going to retire and read all the books listed on that hockey-puck sized stack of papers and we’ll see who’s mocking whom then.

The book for today is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which was already on my To-Read list but has been bumped up in honor of the Lincoln Bicentennial celebration kicking off this weekend down in Indiana’s own Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

This entry was posted by: Jim


  1. If it makes you feel better, I stayed up until 4am last night watching Clerks II and Girls Just Want To Have Fun instead of finishing a biography I’m reading on Bronson and Louisa May Alcott.

    I had a book a day calendar last year and did the same thing you did. I still find torn off pages tucked into drawers or old notebooks. The best books from that calender were Trollop’s The Way We Live Now and Harris’s vampire novel Dead Until Dark. A rather weird paring.

  2. First of all, Nancee is amazing with her reading prowess and overall spectacularity. And while I haven’t had the fine opportunity to read anything by Goodwin, I was able to see her speak at a commencement ceremony and she was amazing. Sorry for the boring post.

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