reading resolutions

5 Jan

at the beginning of each year, i resolve to read more. i read quite a bit, but i want to read better, if that makes sense.

let me explain. i am not a great non-fiction reader (please tell me you know the difference between fiction and non-fiction). for some reason, i find it really hard to get into non-fiction works. i can read collections of humorous essays, like those by david sedaris, and cookbooks galore, but just plain non-fiction learnin’ books – gosh darn it, i can’t do it. it feels so much like being in college again, where i would have to read and re-read paragraph after paragraph because i got so bored in the middle i forgot what i was reading about. so, what is a librarian to do? change.

this year, i will read more non-fiction and i will do it in a hopefully interesting manner. in addition to my regular reading of Austen, cozy British mysteries, and domestic fiction, i propose to read at least one non-fiction book per month. each month will correspond to a different dewey decimal main class. that covers ten months. i will devote one month to biographies and one month to free-choice reading.

so, what are the dewey decimal main classes? i just happen to know them, being a finger-shushing librarian and all. i actually took a concentrated three-week course on dewey decimal classification, so i’m pretty familiar with dear old dewey’s sexist ways. really, he was quite a pig, which incidentally is classed in 636.4 under swine.

here’s my proposed schedule

000  computer science, information and general works (january)

100  philosophy and psychology (february)

200  religion (march)

300  social sciences (april)

400  language (may)

500  science (june)

600  technology (july)

700  arts and recreation (august)

800  literature (september)

900  history and geography (october)

biography (november)

free choice (december)


so, first up is “000 – computer science, information and general works.” my choices thus far include:

the know-it-all by a.j. jacobs (031)

sixpence house by paul collins (002.075)

the last lecture by randy pausch (004.092)

i’ll report my progress on my reading page. you can join me if you’d like. we’ll build a reading rainbow.


13 Responses to “reading resolutions”

  1. Jason January 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Very cool resolution. It’s not the boring old, “I’m going to read 50 books this year,” or whatever number of books people resolve to read in a year. I commend you on your unique goal and I wish you well!!!

    • Megan January 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

      jason – thanks for the encouragement!

  2. goona January 7, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I have to admit, this is possibly the most interesting reading resolution I’ve heard of in quite a while. It makes my paltry 40-in-2009 sound pathetic.

    Best of luck!

    • Megan January 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

      goona – reading is never pathetic! best of luck to you and the 40-in-2009 – not an easy task!

  3. Twins' Mom January 7, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Would you be offended if I copied? You are after all the coolest chicka out there!

    • Megan January 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

      twins’ mom – take a look. it’s in a book. you’ll be part of my reading rainbow. i’ll be violet – what color do you want?

  4. Twins' Mom January 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm #


  5. Twins' Mom January 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Actually I think I’ll be Magenta!!!

  6. Brandon Bell January 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Cool idea!
    Some suggestions:

    100 – Dreams, Jung
    200 – The Heart of Buddha’s Teachings, Thich Nhat Hahn
    300 – hhhhhmmm, I’ll have to see what you find
    400 – I think Japanese would be interesting. Not sure about books.
    500 – The Engines of Creation, K Eric Drexler
    600 – The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond
    700 – The lastest volume of Spectrum maybe
    800 – (shameless plug) Return to Luna, Hadley Rille –I have a story in it 🙂
    900 – A Short History of Knowledge, Van Doren, and A History of Warfare, John Keegan
    Bio – Wayne Shorter …. Jazz musician… can’t remember the name of the book.

    • Megan January 12, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

      thanks for the suggestions! i’ll have to check out your contribution to the 800s. for the 400s, i was thinking of eats, shoots & leaves
      (the zero tolerance approach to punctuation) by lynne truss. my undergrad degree was in linguistics, so i’m kind of a nerd like that.

  7. Brandon Bell January 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    If you get the chance, please let me know what you think. There are several nice stories in the anthology. I will have to check out eats, shoots & leaves: just checked it out on Amazon and I bet it would be a helpful reminder. 🙂

  8. Twins' Mom January 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Alright Megan, I gotta suggest something as well. For the 900’s may I suggest a book I just read which would cover not only history, but geography and maybe even biography as well (autobiography count?) The book is by a woman named Loung Ung and titled, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.
    Now before you shut down entirely (I know you don’t like depressing stuff) I really must say this book flows really well and I think would round out your reading list nicely. I’ll fill you in the next time we talk 🙂 but I wanted to make sure to sneak this in before you say no for sure.


  1. An Interesting Resolution… « mindGrazing - January 5, 2009

    […] That’s all good and I’m sure some succeed, while many others fail. Today, I happened on this post by Megan on the card […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: