Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Reading: Big Fat Book Edition

Some of my acquaintances who're readers and bloggers have been talking about desiring to read long instead of quick shorts. When I mean long, I mean more than 500 pages versus the usual 80,000 to 100,000 word stories. When I mean, quick, I mean stories with fast pacing and easy characterizations and subject material. Thus, the BFB or Big Fat Book project was born.

What qualifies as a BFB is not merely size, i.e., the hefty doorstopper, but also complex story lines, intricate plotting, and not obvious character motivations and thoughts and actions.

Back in March, Sunita blogged about initiating a BFB read-a-long among her blog readers. I thought long and hard about it, and decided, nope, I did not have the bandwidth to do it. I had BFB envy, but it wasn't a sufficient motivator. However, I kept up with Sunita's BFB posts in March to see how she did.

Then in June, I was alerted by her that another BFB read-a-long was coming up in July. I still thought that it was going to be a tough sell for me. Likewise, I was tempted by Kay's post, but resisted.

Then yet another person, Liz McCausland, decided to join in and posted about it. What was different about this one was the possibility of listening to an audiobook as part of the BFB read-a-long. I went, "Hmmm..." even though I am not a fan of audiobooks. Liz tried to encourage me in the comments section. But then a comment from Kaetrin finally clicked, and I was like, "YES! Count me in."

Her comment was that instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs while listening to audiobooks and letting my attention wander then scrambling around trying to find the spot where I had stopped listening, I should do something that is not too engrossing while listening, i.e., something mindless, so I can keep my mind on the book and let my body have something to do, too. Her brilliant suggestion was to exercise while listening to the book.

I now have The Game of Kings, the first book in the Lymond Chronicles, by Dorothy Dunnett from the library. It's a book I have always wanted to read ever since author Jo Beverley recommended it highly, but have been daunted by the size. The paperback version tops 550 pages and the audio version has 25 hours worth of unabridged recording on CD. *GULP*

I am hoping that this will be synergistic for me: the exercise will help the listening and the listening in turn will help the exercising. Thus, I will be trying my first audiobook and my first BFB this summer. Hoping to post updates here so you can follow along with my progress (or lack thereof).