The other day I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (thoroughly enjoyed it, favourite one so far). I’d planned to finish it before book 7, due out 21st July. So I wondered if it would be possible to re-read all 6 books in order before then. Oh and the Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie which I’m leading a discussion of for the Ship of Fools book group.
Maybe I’m crazy but I’m going to try.
The method in my madness is to track my daily page count. This is how I did it earlier in the year when I read Order of the Phoenix and We Need to Talk About Kevin (another book group read) in three weeks.
Well I could, but most often don’t. But the page count targets help me keep focussed.
OK, so how’s it going to work? Well I have 23 days (I started yesterday) to read 4,032 pages. Which means I need to read 176 pages a day. I tend to average 60pages an hour on the Harry Potter books. So that’s 3 hours a day. Which sounds a lot but don’t forget I have two weekends where I can probably get a lot more done and be ahead of the game. Also, I have been reading in my lunch hour. So I really only need to manage a couple of hours on a work night. Which requires some focus – no sitting down thinking I’ll watch 5 minutes of TV and looking at my watch an hour and a half later – but is doable.
There is at least one evening I won’t be able to do much reading – Thursday 12th July – that’s the day the Order of the Phoenix movie comes out. I should be in the middle of that book by then. I’ve calculated I’d need to average 225 pages a day to finish it before then so I may not manage that. But we’ll see.
I’m committing myself to updating the blog once a day with a few thoughts on the reading so far. This should take no more than 20 minutes and should give some summary statistics – current book, page, culmulative count so far, lag/lead on target.
I’ll do my inaugural ‘thoughts’ post in a moment based on yesterday’s reading, but I’ll just note that I only managed 96 pages yesterday and I forwent my lunchtime reading for the creation of a natty little spreadsheet that helps me track my progress. Basically I enter the page number of the current book and it shows where I am versus where I need to be. I need to be careful not to get distracted by stuff like that. I have books 3 & 4 as ebooks and I found myself thinking that I could adapt an open source conversion program to make a Linux ebook viewer. Or I could not waste reading time and read them in Windows!
By now you’re probably thinking I’m taking this way too seriously. But I’m not really I’m just a bit geeky/anal about this kind of thing. I’ll try to keep remembering it’s supposed to be fun!