At the end of the year, I un-read.
In the last few months, I've un-read a hundred or so books.
None of those books will appear on my 2013 Books Read list. I didn't read them. I un-read them.
What is un-reading?
I've requested lots of books from the library on Best-of-2013 lists that pop up at this time of year like mushrooms after a rain. I've pulled stacks of books that I've accumulated-but-not-cracked over the course of the year.
And then I started un-reading. I read the first page, sometimes the first chapter or two. Then I ask myself, Do I want to read on? If I am curious about what happens, I sometimes skim the next fifteen or twenty chapters and read the last two. If I'm not drawn in, I shut the book and return it to the library or put it in the stack to give away or trade. In rare cases (just twice, really) I am completely drawn in and read the book to completion. Occasionally, I find a book that I decide to set aside for another day; I can tell I might love it, but I'm just not in the right mood right now for it.
What have I un-read? Countdown. The Book of Someday. No One Could Have Guessed the Weather. Havisham. The Circle. The Panopticon. The Fat Years. Dallas 1963. White Princess. Goat Mountain. Rivers. Insurgent. Care of Wooden Floors. The Unwinding....
...and, as they say, many, many more.
Do you un-read? I encourage you to do so. It's a cleansing feeling, like dusting properly or cleaning out one's closet.
What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....
That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities
and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.