I have endeavored to start a new project. It is simple. But it starts with a story. A friend of mine Drew, who may be the only person who reads this and I have a passion for used books and literature at large. So he noticed in his collection that he had inadvertently started to collect Pulitzer prize winning novels. Seeing this as the novelty it was decided and I thought it was a good idea at the time that we might try to make the collection complete. So we both set out to collect all of the novels that have one the Pulitzer prize, which they have been awarding since 1917. There are some really obscure books on the list, by authors neither of us have ever heard of nor would ever have given the time of day seeing them sitting on the shelf.
This project started as a casual pipe-dream but just recently seeing that I will have no occasion to be devoted to any one read project at a time being free now from the rigors of academic life decided to take this matter more seriously. That being said I have a mythical dream that I might complete this task in a year. Now a year is a long time, and 84 books doesn’t seem like a mountainous task, but given that during academic life I averaged 25 to 30 books in a given year at my own leisure I find that this task demands a great deal from me. I subject myself to its ludicrous consumption of my time, and the spoils that it might bring. So here I am, I will update this blog with two kinds of future posts in the event that there is news in this realm. My used bookstore experiences regaling all with humors and dramatic stories of my successes or failures as a obscure book hunter, then also coinciding with that my experiences actually reading this books. I don’t want it to be so much of a book review, that is a profession I have no interest in, but my experience of them inside of the scope of this project. I hope that this task makes be a better writer, a better reader, and a more disciplined individual. I hope that it stretches me and grounds me in works of fiction that are worth reading or at least someone in the last century thought so at some time.
I am not reading in chronological order, I fear that would be unhealthily unsatisfying and burdensomely boring. So I have an intricate randomizing selection process where I pull a decade that I wrote on slips of paper out of a hat. Then I have wrote a number on the back of that year, so I draw again and the next time I could draw from 0 – 9, and I must then read the book from that decade and that year.
The first book was not selected this way, but instead was one of the only Pulitzers that I owned that sounded interesting at the time that i began reading before the new year began. I finished it today. A post reflecting my experience with that novel will be posted tonight.