The Slow Reader – Episode 3

Here we go again – two weeks later. I didn’t implement any of the changes I wanted to from the last one, but I took some notes as I was listening back to this before releasing. I haven’t actually done much reading on the book covered here since I recorded this episode, but I’ve got some plans to make the next episode better. Hope you like it!

This episode starts off my coverage of Gone by Michael Grant. I read chapters 1-9 (17% of the book). Pick up your copy of Gone from the Library or at Amazon.

The Slow Reader Podcast

I have been talking this year about finally starting and following through with a project; at first that was going to be a writing project, but I ended up deciding on starting a new podcast.

I present to you: The Slow Reader – A Podcast About Books. It’s basically an audio version of my GoodReads updates. Right now the first two episodes are scheduled, and should be a bi-weekly podcast. They’re short, but I think eventually I’ll get into a groove and expand on the length a little bit. I know that I rushed my delivery a lot in these first two episodes.

The trailer is available today; the first episode will be out tomorrow (Thursday). Right now the podcast is only live on Google Play, but it should be available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify as well. I’ll probably submit it to Stitcher soon.

Enjoy the trailer for now!

Listen on Google Play Music

2018 Reading Update

About a month ago I presented my reading list for 2018.  I figure since the first two months of 2018 have come and gone, it’s time I provide an update of where I am.

Well…I’m not doing so well.  I’m 67% of the way through “From A Certain Point of View” (short story collection based on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope).  I’ve been putting most of my time into listening to podcasts and catching up on movies (re-watching in some cases…thank you Star Wars BluRay set!) and TV shows.

I’ve got a big move coming up, so will likely be packing away many of the books on my 2018 list.  So my new, updated goal right now is to finish “From A Certain Point of View” and get started on “A History of the World in 12 Maps”.  I likely won’t get much further than that until the Summer.

I would like to have finished at least 4 books on my list by July.  We’ll see how it goes!  In the meantime – what are you reading that I can add to my never-ending list?

My 2018 Reading List

Last year I made a lofty and un-researched goal of reading 25 books; I didn’t get that far at all.  I wrote about my reading habits during the year and I don’t think I’ve really changed too much about them.   This year my goal is a lot more reasonable.  I’ve set my goal to 12 books for 2018, and I have a concrete list of what to read to get me started.

You see, I have many books that I’ve received as gifts that I intended to read but haven’t gotten to yet.  I keep adding more books.  This is a problem.  So, theoretically, I’ve got the books I’m going to read for 2018 and not going to add any more until I see some form of end in sight.

You can follow my reading progress over at Goodreads – that’s where I talk the most about books.  So, here’s the list of what I’m going to start the year reading; I have more on the shelf that I can add, but figured this was a good place to start.

  • From A Certain Point of View (Star Wars) – Currently reading this one; it’s a collection of short stories featuring side characters from A New Hope, in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
  • A History of the World in 12 Maps – this one caught my eye even though I don’t usually go for history books.  Looking forward to diving in.
  • Tunnels by Roderick Gordon
  • The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1) by Jordanna Max Brodsky
  • Informal Biography of Scrooge McDuck by Jack L. Chalker
  • True Canadian UFO Stories by John Robert Colombo
  • Blackout (Riley Covington #3) by Jason Elam
  • Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Like I said there are other books to be added, but those will definitely keep me busy for a long time for the first bit of summer.  I’ll share my thoughts when I can.

How To Read 3650 Pages In A Year

I’ve been doing a little bit of research lately to try and get more eyeballs onto my blog, and one of the things I’ve been trying to do is read what other people are writing.  That’s something I’ve been neglecting for some time.

One of the articles that I found was from the blog Flight Headed (www.flightheaded.com).  It was called, “How and Why You Should Read 3650 Pages  Worth of Books A Year“.  It is as the title suggests – an article suggesting that you should read 3650 pages of books in a year.

That honestly sounds like a lot.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hovers around 500 pages.  A Game of Thrones is 873 pages, and A Dance With Dragons clocks in at 1200+.  If you’re adding with me, that’s 2573, leaving 1077 pages to go and that’s only 3 books.

Author Chris Flores breaks it down a bit more reasonably.  Flores suggests reading just 10 pages a day, which is where the number 3650 comes from (365 days x 10 pages = 3650).  If even that seems daunting, the suggestion is to read 5 pages a day – which is still 1825 pages!

But the point isn’t really the amount of pages you should read.  The number, like I said, simply comes from being something that is manageable on a per-day level.  10 pages?  That takes 15-20 minutes, depending on your reading speed.  Sure, you can find time out of your day to do that.  You probably read that much in online articles and blogs.  It’s a much easier ask than throwing a book at someone and telling them to read it in two weeks.

I won’t re-hash the benefits of reading that Flores outlines (check out his blog post, he really does a good job describing the benefits).  Instead, what sparked me to write this was what clicked in my head after reading the article.  I often lament that I don’t have time (or don’t make time) to read, and as a result have many books just sitting on the shelf.

To look at things in a “10 page a day” pace, it makes things much more manageable.  I’m currently reading Catalyst by James Luceno; its length is 288 pages and I’m on page 177.  111 pages?  If I read just 10 pages a day I’ll be done in 10 days.

Update: Actually, I wrote this last week – since then I just finished reading Catalyst last night – see my Goodreads entry on it if you’re interested!

Currently I have a goal to read 25 books this year (including comic books / graphic novels); I’ve read 11 so far.  I plan on getting as close to 25 as I can using this new-found reading spark.  I’ve got a lot of good books waiting to be read, and I keep finding more!

Update on 2017 Goals

Back in January, I set some goals for 2017 and thought that since we’re now three months into the year (and my birthday is this weekend), I should leave a little bit of a progress update. I didn’t intend to do this until April, but like I said – my birthday is this weekend so it felt like a good time to give the year a quick assessment.

Remain Organized

This is going pretty well, I think. At this point I’m not really worried about my level of organization – I just did a little bit of a purge of my work space at home, and my journal is updated mostly every day (weekends tend to be the exception, which I’m perfectly fine with). The fact that I’m concerned with making my journal look nice as opposed to keeping up to date with it tells me I’m fine here.

Be a positive example

This is probably going to be the toughest one to judge progress. I think I’m doing okay here. I haven’t done a lot of venting anywhere.

Lose the weight.

It’s going, and that’s about all I can say about it right now. I’ve written more about it recently though.

Learn more about driving social media engagement

Right now this is taking the form of figuring out “how to blog”, sort of. One step has been to buy a domain name.

Write more.

Middle grade on this one. Technically I am writing pretty frequently on the blog, but not feeling as productive as I feel I should be. Objectively though, I’m doing great.

Read more.

As overall progress goes, this is fine; however I’m still stuck on a book that I should be finished by now. I just haven’t been making much time for reading novels, but if you want to talk comic books I’m your guy!

In conclusion…

I think I’m plodding along quite well with my goals for the year. I’ve picked some pretty tough ones to assess, which means I think I should do a formal draft of the goals + measure of success for these. I’ll do that in April, when I originally intended to do a follow-up post.