I’m worried I created to many reading goals for the new year. I challenged myself to read 50 books with 12 of them being classics. I tried to promise myself I wouldn’t buy anymore books until I read some of the unread ones I already own. Also, I hope to decrease the number on my Goodreads’ to-read list. While, these can all fit nicely into the read 50 books challenge, I’m finding the classics can be dense and daunting. I thought I would read Jane Austen’s Persuasion this month but switch to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I didn’t feel I had the right mood for Persuasion. I want to complete my one classic novel a month goal but I do want to enjoy what I am reading. I do have many more opportunities to read this year with my hour commute to and from work. Just have to keep reading with the hope I lessen my pile of unread books, to-read titles, and classics collecting dust. I could be overreacting being only the second month and I’m seeing an overwhelming number of goals that seemed to fit together when I first made my list. Worst happens I don’t read 12 classics or reach my 50 books goal. I’ll know to lessen the reading goals next year. Maybe.
I’ve read other writers give the advice of writing at work. Taking the free time you may have during break time or at the desk and write. I don’t have that sort of time at my job. I am mostly walking around, stocking shelves or ordering. I don’t know if I would say I wish for a desk job in front of a computer just to steal more time writing but there is one position at my job I have found I can thief some time to scribble down a few phrases.
I don’t always have information desk days but I have found I can get some writing done on info days. I write on little scraps of paper since I don’t think my managers would like seeing a notebook in my hand. I didn’t like info days before I found this little exercise. Writing tiny blurbs, feelings, or stories has helped my mood. Sometimes I try to describe the scene past the computer screen. I know my managers would give me a strong talking to if they knew but writing is what calms me against the boredom or suffering of info time.
When I get home I clean out my pockets. Scraps of paper collect on my desk, or end table. Will those words ever see a readers eye again? I may never know but, as the clique goes, practice makes perfect. I just am trying to take some spare time and use it to write.
The first classic I picked up for the 2015 Classic Challenge was picked with another classic in mind. I read The Time Machine in sixth grade and was thinking how I enjoyed it but how little I remembered of the classic. I decided it would be better to read something I hadn’t read before so instead of a repeat in the classic category I would stay with the author. The War of the World by H.G. Wells is a classic that has created a rememberable radio show and epic movies but as any creative work they are nothing like the book.
I was surprise when I learned this novel is a sharp satire about British Imperialism. There is a comparison Wells makes about not judging the Martians to harshly and remember how ruthless our own species have been. He mentions, “The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants.” It is a theme that never goes away. It will always remain a classic. It is surprising that a novel label Science fiction a hundred years ago now reads stockily realistic. Much of the Martian’s science, Heat Rays and Gas, that destroys Victoria England seem very real reading today.
If you decide to pick up this classic don’t expect an action sequence every few pages. Action is few and far between the narrator questioning the human race and the self.