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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 16:39   #1
Wavid
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Default Reading Resolutions

So, with the New Year in, what are our resolutions? They don't have to be exclusivley reading-based, I just thought it would make for a snappier topic title.

Mine are:

* To finish every book I start
* To finish The Corrections (it has now been 15 months)
* To write more Palimpreviews
* To read Ulysees.

Not too tough then, eh?
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 16:46   #2
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Resolving to finish every book you start is a wild bet, Wavid. I gave up that ideal long ago. Face it: if you're finding a book boring or unsatisfying by halfway through, what are the chances of it all changing utterly from then on - not only to make the second half worthwhile, but to reverse your thoughts on what you've read so far, too? If anything, I would resolve no longer to feel I have to finish every book I start.

Resolving to read Ulysses? Resolve to spell it first, sir!

I am making no resolutions about books. My only loose ones are the usual, concerning application to my work when in the office - strictly to benefit my own pocket, you understand - and something vague about finally joining a gym, getting fit/in shape etc. Hey ho.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 16:56   #3
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Ah, good points all.

On the non-reading front, I have managed to find myself in a weight losing betathon: four of us put £25 each into the kitty, got weighed this morning and whoever has lost the most weight by March 18th wins the lot. Given that at 17 stone 4 lbs I was by a small distance the lightest (or, rather, the least heavy) I think I might have my work cut out...
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 17:00   #4
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Hm, which makes you one-and-a-half times the man I am. Still, just because you're the lightest doesn't mean you'll find it hard to lose the most: you're evidently the least gluttonous and self-indulgent so you should be best placed for the task in hand. And why March 18th?
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 17:05   #5
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Oh, I think because it is just before a) the Easter bank holidays when everyone wants to enjoy themselves and, more importantly, b) when one of the four goes away on holiday.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 18:26   #6
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Resolutions:

* Write reviews here for everything I read--starting with the three or four left over from the holidays (let's see...A Pale View of Hills, The Jungle, Just So Stories...think there's another) that I haven't bothered to review yet.
* Now that I've finally started reading again for the first time in years, stop all this silly reading and get some writing in.

That's about it. Not very ambitious this year, I'm afraid. I already started up the gym membership in the beginning of December, so that doesn't count as a New Year's Resolution.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 20:19   #7
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I just want to make sure I read more books than I acquire in the new year. And if a can read a whole lot, that'd be nice too. I figure I got through between 30 & 40 books in '04. I'd like to kick that up to the 40 to 50 range this year if possible. And I've also resolved to improve my guitar playing to the point where I can play some old ragtime standards. Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'" is the first task I've set myself. That's not to mention all of the resolutions in the let's-be-a-better-person category.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 20:21   #8
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How are you finding A Short History... Rick?

I have to admitt hat now my dad has leant me his copy, I tend to just dip in now and then rather than wading through it page by page...
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 20:44   #9
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I'm finding it very refreshing actually. Mostly because I've been reading loads of novels, and therefore caught up in stories of a very human scale. A little natural history is like a tonic, broadening the mental horizons. I feel like I've been hunched over peering at ant beds, and now, with this book I'm stretching the limbs and appreciating the wider view. I probably would never have read this, but I got it for Christmas. It's basically just what I thought it would be--a lucid, colorful survey modern scientific thought. What has surprised me is my own enjoyment. Why didn't I want to read this before? Bryson, as a scientific outsider with a congenial tone, is the perfect author for such a book. He doesn't confuse or distort. Despite the presumptuous title, just about every chapter leaves off with a confession of our abiding ignorance of the world around us. I'm enjoying it so well, in fact, that I think should resolve to get more scientific reading in my diet this year. But that's just me of course. As wshaw has just wisely remarked, nothing can tarnish a book so much as a hearty recommendation.

P.S. As for page by page dipping, I intend to hang on to my copy for just that purpose. Each chapter summarizes the progress of a distinct branch of scientific endeavor. In that sense A Short History of Nearly Everything is a mini-encyclopedia. It may prove a useful reference in the future.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 22:16   #10
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I made a resolution about ten years ago, not to make any more New Year's Resolutions, and while earlier ones about being a better human, lasted about as long as a mayfly's sexdrive, this one is still going.

As for being fitter, healthier, more productive, it's not really me anyway. Maybe being nicer, and writing to distant friends more often would be good but who am I kidding? Just wanting to be less lazy isn't really going to change anything. An initial flurry of activity to be followed by my slipping into my usual habits. Might as well just skip the flurry and get on with it.
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