52 books in 2016: a few rules

Okay, so here’s how it’s going to work.

* I have to read 52 books by the end of 2016 but beyond that, there are no weekly or monthly quotas. If it takes me three weeks to read a long book then so be it, as long as it all evens out in the end.

* I’ll mostly be reading fiction but I’ll squeeze in the occasional non-fiction book too.

* I like big “important” literary buzzbooks – Franzen, Tartt et al – but I like to go for some deeper cuts too. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you about some great books you haven’t heard about.

* And it won’t all be ponderous realism. I grew up on horror, sci-fi and fantasy, so expect some genre.

* I’ll be reading a mix of new and old. Given I’ve currently got about 150 unread books by my bedside – publication dates ranging from 1726 to 2015 – there will be plenty of variety.

* No audio books and no e-books. Books are beautiful objects and shouldn’t be reduced to binary code.

* Graphic novels count as long as they’re complete, rather than ongoing.

* If I hate a book I can abandon it and it still counts towards the total, as long as I’ve given it a fair shake. Life’s too short to waste on bad books.

* I’ll post regular updates on whatever I’m reading. Sometimes, particularly for newer books, I’ll write proper reviews. Sometimes I’ll just share a few thoughts and let you know if something’s worth picking up.

* I’ll also post some thoughts and ideas about books more generally. Maybe I’ll write something on why The Quiet American is the finest novel ever written; or why Shantaram is awful. Perhaps I’ll wax lyrical about Michael Chabon or Kazuo Ishiguro or Ray Bradbury. Maybe I’ll write something about the borderline erotic response I get from smelling books. Or maybe not.

Okay, that’s it. Happy reading.

Author: adamgartrell

Political journalist drowning in books

2 thoughts on “52 books in 2016: a few rules”

  1. Great idea, Love the site and looking forward to your reviews (a forgotten art). Can you make sure you post to facebook/goodreads too so I can catch them there. To be a party pooper I’m not sure abandoned books should count to the total. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My blog my rules!

      Seriously though, I feel like that would incentivise me to keep reading bad books, and that’s not really the outcome I’m after.

      If I give up a book a third of the way in, I should be able to count it. I’m not talking about counting something after five pages,


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