Today has been so peaceful, just the way a Sunday ought to be. Woke up half nine and had a few coffees with Big C before he went to his gigs, went back to sleep, got up at an indecently late hour and read for a few hours. The weather is perfect here: grey-white sky, mist that refuses to budge, a slight chill in the air... This is just how autumn should be, and today, the first Sunday in proper autumn, has been idyllic (apart from an hour spent on ironing shirts for next week and clothes washed from our holiday!).
So, reading. I've read a lot of different books today, which is unlike me. In the past, I've been a 'one at a time' girl, which is actually very limiting. Take the Bible. I would never have stuck to the challenge, or even decided to do it if I was still a one-at-a-time girl. It's too much, I think, to read in one go. As I've said before, I read War and Peace in one go and regret it: I got bored and rushed most of it. It was pointless. Some people might be impressed that I've read it, of course, it sounds very good to say "Yes, I've read War and Peace" but a lot less so to follow that with, "but please don't ask me what it was about". Reading a little, reading a chapter, a canto, a book (within the book, obviously) or a letter works. It just works. This approach should see me finish the Bible, and it should also see me through Clarissa.
Ah, Clarissa. This book, Jesus. I said I'd read sixty letters this month, and what I was thinking was two a day, which, on the 2nd day of October is all well and fine because I've just finished the fifth letter. But do you ever think, with these kinds of challenges, the massive ones - not your canto a day Inferno or book a day Iliad, but the likes of the Bible, War and Peace, Clarissa - where will you be when you've finished it? There are 539 letters in Clarissa (I think that's the number, the book is by my bed and I'm in my library). Two a day, that's, for ease, 270 days, 38 weeks or just under ten months. Or what of those who took part in the War and Peace challenge - how much will their lives have changed since they picked that book up in January? And, and this is where my mind blew a little, the Bible - me and my pal are reading that at the deliberately slow pace of a book a month. At this pace (which may well alter with the shorter books, granted) this will take sixty-six months. Sixty six. I mean, damn! Five and a half years. Where am I going to be when I put that thing down?
Really, it's mind-blowing. I said on Tumblr last night, "I was just saying to Sandy how rubbish it would be to die before you got to the end of your book challenges. But I suppose it’s inevitable. Or else I could just stay alive forever." But honestly, imagine dying before you got to the end of your reading list. Because it will happen. And a lot of us who buy more books than we read, we've got stuff on our shelves that may forever be untouched. God, I hope not. I hope not. But what else can I do, as a mortal, but die when my time's up?