As a reader of many books, do you have a deadly deadline looming over you? Have no fear—in today’s post for “D” I share my strategies for dealing with reader deadlines. Writer deadlines are for another post!
When I have a huge book waiting to be read, I remember what I did as an undergraduate English major some years ago. We had just been assigned the massive tome, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens in my British literature class. Of course, most of us knew that we had signed up for this, but the sight of the book still struck fear into a few. I love Dickens, don’t get me wrong. But, later, at home, I spent a moment pondering the best plan of action for reading the novel.
The brick of a book sat on my desk, daring me to crack it open. Then, an idea struck.
I sat down and picked up my calculator instead.
I could handle this.
I punched in the number of pages of the book: 867. I then figured out how many days I had to read it—about 21. I figured that I would read 41 pages a day, and then I would finish in time for our discussion.
That I could do!
Our Mutual Friend seemed more friendly after that. Success arrived! I finished the novel, and my reading schedule worked out fabulously. Ever since then, if I have ever had a book that could double as a weight, I’ve applied this technique.
What about just having a massive stack of books on your TBR list?
Well, the other way I deal with deadlines for reading is taking notes on what books I need to read by when, and making a list of what’s priority and what’s not. Then I go back to the list and consult what’s next. It makes it easier and less scary with a plan, especially when there’s a huge stack of books that could topple at any moment.