I have reached an exciting, yet terrible point in my life as a reader of science fiction and fantasy. Over the past week or so I have been looking around for new fantasy series and also science fiction works to add to my Goodreads “want to read” shelf. I have found a great site that lists some of the best fantasy books out there: www.bestfantasybooks.com. There are tons of lists that could keep one busy for a lifetime, and the main lists are updated from time to time. There is also a sister site for science fiction although it has less to offer.
My “want to read” shelf has increased from 60 books to over 80, and it could be higher because for a few I only added the first in the series to try it out. There are some wonderful new fantasy books out there that I really want to have a go at such as The First Law, The Gentleman Bastards, The Long Price, The Broken Empire. Then I found a few sci-fi series that I have to read as well such as Culture, Zones of Thought and a few standalone books. Those are just to name a few, and those are just the new additions to my shelf! I already had a lot to read (60 books), most of which I have had sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. After finding all these new works of fantasy and science fiction, I feel like reading them all yet there is only room for one at a time.
So, what is my greatest problem at the moment? I am currently entangled in the greatest marathon of them all, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. It is ten books long, and many of the books are over 1,200 pages. I love it, but it is taking its toll. It is the most hardcore work of fantasy I have ever come across, and I know I will be so relieved once I’m done. Whichever series I read afterwards is going to feel like such a calm breath of fresh air. However, *gulp*, it is possible I may not get to that one until next spring!! And I don’t just want to get to the next one, I want to read the next five…now.
Why that long? Each Malazan book is taking me almost a month to read, and I am taking breaks after every two to switch to sci-fi. I like to switch between the two genres frequently. I go back and forth with two series at a time, one in each genre, and I usually finish one once I have started, especially with fantasy. I prefer not to have two different fantasy series in progress. The worlds can be complex, and I might never finish anything if I didn’t commit to one at a time.
I have also found I can read no more than three books of a series in a row without taking a break. It becomes too much and starts to feel repetitive no matter how good it is. Especially for me, because three in a row could mean months of reading the same thing.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a self-proclaimed, notoriously slow reader. Me “going hard” at a book usually means not much more than 50 pages per day. Similar with TV shows, I can’t sit down and watch an entire season in an afternoon, just an episode or two a day, max. On average, I would say one page takes me two minutes to read. I never skim, each word is ‘said’ in my mind, and sometimes I even re-read a paragraph because I can get distracted. One benefit of this, however, is I have noticed I can recall almost every little scene in all the books I’ve read.
I go through ups and downs, too. I might read a 1,000 page book in two weeks but then take over a month and a half to read a 700 pager, having liked the latter one better. Weird maybe, but that’s the way she goes.
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