Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe

Blindfolded Girl by G. Ferarri

After much deliberation, I have decided to call my project, the 40X40 Book Challenge. Not too outrageous, I know. But I think it fits my goal and what I aim to do; to read forty award-winning books before I leave the age of forty.

What scientific method will the Author-In-Training use to decide which books to read? I will pretty much follow the way I usually chose a book to read. It is not as scientific, but I think the criteria I have set will work for my purpose. I hope you will agree.

The Author-In-Training’s 40X40 Book Challenge Criteria:
1. The synopsis appeals to me:
This plays a very large part of my own personal book selection process. The story will certainly have to appeal to me for me to choose to read the book.

While I tend to enjoy books in the fantasy genre, I am not one that only reads books in it. I read almost anything. Except horror. That stuff just frightens me and keeps me from turning the lights out when I go to bed. I don’t think my husband would appreciate that too much.

Thank goodness for the internet, the synopses I will need to make a decision is readily available.

2. The book is available in paper form:
While I know we are now in the age of e-books and e-readers, like the Kindle, the Nook and the iPad. I know a few more available out there, but I chose to mention only these three, as they seem at the forefront of the race. Let’s face it. If I were to actually invest in one, these are the three I would be choosing from. But, since I am not at the point in my financial life where I can make such decisions, the availability of the book in paper form will do for me. Besides, I like feeling the paper edge flutter through my fingers as I read.

Also, if a book is in paper form, there are a myriad of ways for me to get them. I can buy them from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or Borders. Or, I can borrow them, from the town library. Personally, I would prefer to buy them; however, some titles may no longer be in print. Therefore, the library will do.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that the cost implication of buying all forty books over the life of this challenge will probably cost more than buying an e-reader and just buying their e-versions. But I am just not that sophisticated a money analyst. And besides, I still really haven’t decided about how I feel about e-readers in general. So, I’ll just stick to my plan for now, and then if things change, financially or otherwise, maybe I’ll take the plunge.

3. What is the reputation of the book? Of the author?:
Did this book put any firsts on the literary map? Was it the first book to ever deal with a certain topic? Was there any controversy about this book winning the prize? I just love me a scandal!

Is the author so important to the literary world that I would be a fool not to read it?

4. Why was the book chosen as that year's winner:
To the extent that this information is available, I will consider this as a criterion. I would love to know what the prize awarding body’s reasons were for choosing the book to win.

5. Recommendations/Reviews from Readers:
In the beginning, I will rely on what is available on the internet in terms of reviews and recommendations. But, in the future, I hope I will have enough readers to give me real recommendations. I would love to hear from those who have actually read any of the books. Maybe I’ll use a polling feature for this, as time goes by. You guys can tell me which book I should read next.

So there you have it; my not-so-scientific means of choosing the books to go on this list. Tell me, how do you choose a book to go on your reading list?

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