My reading plan for 2014 is this: I shall read whatever I like, depending on my mood, with no premeditation or forethought and following no pattern. I shall endeavour to read these books badly, often pausing in the middle of them from a sense of inertia and greener pastures elsewhere. I shall lose the thread and miss all the points the author intended. I shall write reviews of these books on this blog, usually a few weeks after I have finished them, by which time I will hopefully have forgotten most of what I wanted to say.
I will find myself generally losing interest in the novel form, and concentrate far more on non-fiction and plays. (Who knows, I might even start reading poetry?)
One plan I actually do have is this: I shall concentrate on reading the books at the back of my shelves. I’ve been living here now for 10 years, and 99% of the books I possess were bought in that time; but there’s still probably plenty of books from 8, 9, 10 years ago which I’ve never got round to reading, and which have become obscured over time at the bottom of piles of books hidden behind piles of other books. So the other day, I went through all my books and dug a selection of these out and put them in the vanguard of the great morass of unread books.
It’ll tend towards big books and the classics (since these are what I tend to put off to another day), things like Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game, TE Lawrence’s The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls; books I’ve started and really enjoyed but somehow never gone on with, like Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet (in fact, anything by Durrell) and Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean – maybe even I’ll have another go at Sartor Resartus, and I guess I could always think about Proust; other books I’ve now possessed but not read in at least two different editions, like Budd Schulberg’s The Disenchanted and João Ubaldo Ribeiro’s An Invincible Memory; along with many more obscure things.
One book I shall finally read is Melville’s Moby Dick, which I’ve decided will be my January holiday book.