Thursday, December 29, 2011
National Novel Reading Month is January
January will be National Novel Reading Month. We’ve all got at least one classic book we think we ought to read and have put off too long. I have more than a dozen of them, and the literary guilt may actually be killing me. Check your shelf. Check your conscience. Isn’t there something long removed from the Bestseller’s List you think you ought to read? Be it for craft, for history, or some gap in your personal English canon. #NaNoReMo is about catching up with the classics.
One thing that bothers me about National Novel Writing Month is it isn’t located in a country. “National” is a poor word choice for a program that’s clearly international. Yet it’s popular, so #NaNoReMo will double the dubiousness. Not only can you read it in any nation of your choice, but your classic doesn’t have to be a novel. Want to brush up on Virgil or Ovid? Go for it. The rule is to read a classic.
We’re using a personal sliding scale for "classics." Some people don’t think Jules Verne is a classic author. I don’t like to talk to those people, but they exist, and so they can read someone else. But if you do think he’s a classic writer who deserves your time, then it’s your choice.
Hop on Twitter in the next couple of days to chat about your potential choices using the hashtag #NaNoReMo. Then join us throughout the month of January as we discuss our progress through our chosen classics. If it works the cross-pollination of encouragement will increase our reading lists as well as encourage us to finish reading great works.
Right now mine is a toss-up between Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (a heavyweight contender with five failed starts in my lifetime) and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita (a rookie challenger to my shelf with a siren song of a premise: Satan in Soviet Russia). Which do you think I should open in 2012?