On the mantlepiece in my room, there are presently two stacks of books. One is for thesis related books, sorted so as to be least likely to topple and crush me in my sleep. The other is for non-thesis books, sorted by the priority with which I mean to read them. I have read at least fifty pages of every book in each pile.
- Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
- Dobson, Andrew. Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge.
- Popper, Karl. Conjectures and Refutations.
- Popper, Karl. The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
- Lomborg, Bjorn. The Skeptical Environmentalist. (Being selectively re-read)
- Fenge, Terry. Northern Lights Against POPs.
- Clapp, Jenniffer. Paths to a Green World. (Another purposeful re-reading)
- Nabokov, Vladamir. Ada, or Ardor. (A much appreciated gift from Viki K.)
- Atwood, Margaret. Moral Disorder. (From my mother)
- Wilde, Oscar. De Profundis and other writings.
- Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd.
- Milton, John. Paradise Lost. (Re-reading aloud)
- Cunningham, Michael. Specimen Days.
I have been reading these books for periods ranging from two days to many months. Sometimes, I wonder whether it would be more sensible to read books sequentially, one by one. I don’t really think so. This system lets me read in any of a half dozen distinctive genres or subject areas, and I don’t think I lose much comprehension on account of tracking so many strings at once. (Complex novels are an exception. I often need to force myself to start over and read through. This may be why I have never finished Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, despite at least four attempts.).