It looks as if my inability (noted below) to read many of the big and challanging books sitting on my shelves is a common problem. Kieran at Crooked Timbers has a post on the all the great books he hasn’t read this year:
This has been a particularly good year for not reading books. I would go so far as to say that there are more books I did not read this year than in any year in the recent past. Although a significant part of my job consists in sitting somewhere and reading something, I have still managed to find the time not to read a very wide range of material from many different fields. In special cases, I have bought the book and then not read it. Mostly, though, I did not get around to even doing that.
What I seem unable to control is my appetite for books in relationship to my ability to read books. When I am over-eager and start buying serious books of imposing length I make it all the more difficult to read the books I own. Recently I tried to counter this by purchasing and reading smaller books. This may have helped my “read to own” ratio but it didn’t put a dent in the backlog. I simply lack the discipline to go to a bookstore and not buy books. On top of that the football season cuts heavily into my reading every year. Throw in blogging and other entertaining diversions and you have a recipe for not reading a lot of books.
So far this year I have read 45 books (a partial list can be found here). Granted quite a few of these books were novellas or otherwise short works, but in my defense many of these are non-fiction. I am determined to do more serious reading in the new year. Hope, and denial, springs eternal.