Monday, December 14, 2009


This might be a chronicle of failure, and that might not be a bad thing.

I'm hoping it follows a happy achievement, but I'm just putting it out there, here in the beginning, that in one year's time I could be cursing myself for ever Googling "blogger," clicking on the first convenient search result, letting's home page sit in one of my first few Firefox tabs for several weeks before finally starting a blog to chronicle this absurd idea.

And yes, I mean absurd. The idea, if I haven't faint-heartedly/sheepishly/braggatorily/terrifiedly told you already, is to read 100 books in 2010. That's 365 days, 100 books, generously giving me two books to read per week, with some loose change to account for a few nervous breakdowns and occipital lobe seizures. With the average book weighing in at a bit over 300 pages (according to my imagination), that's 100 pages a day. Ish.

To say I've anticipated the first question people usually give in response to this (why???!?!) would be silly - I ask myself the same thing every time I open my google spreadsheet keeping track of my book plan. (More on that later.) But in terms of the reason for this... it's that I like reading. Reading's always made me happy, pushed my brain and curiosity, and given me things to talk to other people about. It's made me get through the quiet hours of only child-dom, inspired me to care about things I wouldn't normally know about, entertained me, trained my vocabulary, inspired me to change majors, helped me land a wife, and made me feel whole. During the periods of my life when I've not read much, I can feel the lacking. When I'm curling up with a book every night (and walking on sidewalks with my nose buried in one, and sneaking a few lines whenever I possibly can), I feel better. So it's mostly because of that. And to be honest, failing at the goal of 100 books in one year wouldn't be the worst thing in the world - it will likely be more books I've read in a year in my life. Finishing in March 2011 wouldn't be a bad thing.

The larger goal is to enjoy it.

And why blog it? Well, if I stop posting all of a sudden, my family will have an idea about my last whereabouts. Additionally, I thought it might be interesting to follow what pursuing a goal like this means, and how I'll invent justifications for failure when I'm at book 59 in October.

Oh, and one final thing - the name Qualiteracy came about because I thought I was being clever and joining the word qualia with literacy. For those who haven't taken a psych course in a while, qualia is the subjective experience of brain function. I'm hoping that this will be a chronicle of the experience of trying to stay literate in a faster, more internet-focused, attention-deficit world that seems to prize idiocy. One more small candle in the dark. Or at least a mirror reflecting legitimate candles.

Or something. Here goes!


  1. how exciting! I can't wait to hear what the first book is! I hope you let us know what you think of each one.

  2. I just finished "War and Rememberance" Good place to start, WW2 historical fiction and a good workout for the old eye muscles. :-)

  3. Cecelia - I will in fact be letting you know what I think. And as preparation, I will be putting some of my reviews from goodreads on here to provide some context.

    Sam - I'll have to give it a try! Hope all is well.

  4. Well, I just have to say a few things from the perspective of a mom, more specifically Ryan's mom.
    First, I am a librarian.
    Second, at some of the libraries I have worked I could buy books at a nice discount. In order to order efficiently we ordered by ISBN (International Standard Book Number). ISBN's used to be 10 digits, now they are 13. Ryan used to regularly provide me with a list of ISBN numbers for books he wanted me to order for him. We had some limits, only budgetary!
    Ryan and I spent lots of time in bookstores, both with our paper and pens leaving with lists of numbers. I often wonder what people were thinking of us!
    Another thing and then I'll stop. Ryan always took more than one book with him whenever we left the house. In response to, "honey we are only going to be gone and hour" he always replied, "what if I finish my book and have nothing to read?"
    I have a few more funny stories about Ryan and books I can add later if Ry doesn't object too, too much.
    With love and admiration for his 100 books in 2010 journey, mom.
    March 28, 2010 1:58 PM