February 1st and winter hasn’t started. The only very cold weather came and went while we were in Arizona. We should take January vacations every year.


Since November, time has flown. One day it was Halloween, the next Thanksgiving. Then Christmas whooshed past and we were boarding a plane for Phoenix.

I spent all of November and December 2015 reviewing books.

I had more than 60 books to read in two months. Some of the books were very long. The number of hours required exceeded the number of non-sleep hours in the allotted time. It was unfair to me. Even more unfair to the books’ authors.

books and the duke

I’m a fast reader, but I was defeated by the sheer weight of it. It was an “elimination” round to reduce the number of books in the finals, but even so …

All of this explains why I feel as if those months didn’t happen. I barely remember anything. I was buried. While I’m reading, I’m not in this world. I’m wherever, whenever the story is happening. It has left me feeling displaced.

The pressure of participating in projects like this is huge. In theory, I could have quit. I’m not getting paid; I never signed a contract. But I promised. I felt obligated to keep my word. Even when I felt hard done by.

75-Books and stuffNK-1

By the end of this month, I might be able to write again. Reading is supposed to inspire writing, but 60 books in as many days drained me. I’m still recovering.

It is making me rethink the meaning of “fair.” Maybe it also explains some of the more bizarre selections I’ve seen as literary “winners.”


Categories: Anecdote, Book Review, Books, Photography, Reality

Tags: , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. that top photo is incredible. framable.
    happy writing.


  2. 60 books in 60 days would reduce my brain to smoldering ash. Heck, I can’t even concentrate on one book for an hour… ADD limits me to short stories and blog posts…


  3. I love reading but I think that number of books would be too much for me – there are so many other things to do…..housework….blogging….taking photos…….


    • That too. But the worst part was that I could not enjoy the books, couldn’t finish them either. I had to listen to just enough to get a sense of whether or not to keep or eliminate it then move on. There was no time to do more than that. I actually did listen all the way through to a few of them, the ones I really liked a lot. But others didn’t get a fair chance because I didn’t have time. When a book is 600 pages long, it may be a few hundred before you are clear on what’s going on, who is who, and what the world is made of. And then, of course, was the minor detail that I had no time for anything else. Nothing. Read, eat, sleep. For two months.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Was it fun, Marilyn? That would make it all worth while. It is too bad that there was so much to go through in such a short time. Maybe you’ll share some of the better reads with us.


  5. Nice picture on the wall.


  6. I don’t know how you found the time. I seem to have more stress in my golden oldie days than before, but this time I can only blame it on myself.


  7. That seems like an impossible task to me…Seems like they would have a number of pre-readers so the judges could deal with a reasonable number of books.


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