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Unread-books project update

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I started this project with about 350 unread mass-market paperbacks on my bookshelves, and I bought about 30 more shortly after starting the project. It’s hard to decide exactly what count to start with, because I also glanced at and discarded another 100 or so at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. But let’s say I started the project with 380 unread MMPBs.

I’m now down to 179 to go, so I’m a little over halfway through.

…The numbers I have don’t add up. I’ve read (or more often glanced at and discarded, or lightly skimmed) about 60 MMPBs so far this year, plus a couple dozen books in other formats, and I got through 172 last year. I’m not quite sure how to reconcile all those numbers with each other.

But suffice it to say that after nearly two years of this project, I’m probably somewhere around halfway through, and my pace has slowed considerably over time. So it might be another two years or more before I’m done.

(And that’s not even considering the 560 or so unread books on my trade-paperback-and-hardcover shelves. I started going through those this year, very slowly, but probably won’t get serious about those until after I finish with the mass-market books.)

I continue to be glad to be doing this project. I’m not often encountering books or stories that I like, but it’s satisfying to get some closure on books that’ve been sitting on my shelves for 20+ years, and on books that I always meant to read, and on books by authors whose other work I’ve liked, and so on.

But it’s also a little demoralizing to think of continuing for the next couple years. As suggested in the abovelinked entry, I’m intentionally mixing in more recent stuff (which tends to be more to my tastes) this year, which helps; but it also slows down progress on the project.

One side effect worth mentioning: When I’m particularly interested in a given book, I’ve been buying it in ebook form, which lets me read it in more places and lets me highlight and search and so on.

(I am continuing to buy other books, too, of course. But most of my book-buying is ebooks these days. I’m avoiding thinking about the number of unread ebooks on my virtual bookshelves. I’m definitely reading/skimming books faster than I’m buying them, so at least the total unread number is going down over time.)

Anyway, mostly just posting this for my own future reference; I got curious today about numbers over time, and found that I hadn’t posted enough updates to be able to reconstruct various things, so I figured it was time for an update.

Edited a few minutes later to add: it’s definitely nice to watch the physical progress of this project, as the section of my bookshelves devoted to unread MMPBs gradually diminishes. It’s down to a little over five shelves now (well, four and two half-shelves), and after I get through another 20 or so books, it’ll free up a whole shelf for me to move old sf magazines onto, which will in turn free up more space in the larger-books-that-I’ve-read section. I have a whole plan about what moves to where as more space frees up over time.

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