I've recently read of other readers lately who have tried to stick with a reading plan and ended up leaving it. I suppose when we set ourselves a reading list to follow, it becomes a bit like a task and we don't like to feel tied down to forcing ourselves to read something, especially when that changeableness comes on.
The summer before last, I wanted to dip my toe into British archaeology, make a light study of chalk hill figures, stone circles, and continue reading more folklore and country books. This all tied in with some paintings I was doing and an idea for a music project. I had previously read John Aubrey's Natural History of Wiltshire and Stuart Piggott's books on William Stukeley and Antiquaries and other books over time. This was the stack of books I meant to read:
I even bought some more books to go along with these, but apart from the West Country folklore books, I didn't get very far and ended up reading very different books. This year one plan of mine was to read about the bohemian Bloomsbury set, particularly Vanessa Bell, who I think was an extremely interesting artistic woman. This is my collection of Bloomsbury and related titles, which I will go into in more depth at a later time:
I had previously read 'Bloomsbury At Home' by Pamela Todd, and last summer the utterly wonderful 'Romantic Moderns' by Alexandra Harris; but apart from browsing through the other books, I haven't even begun to read them! Most of my reading time this year has been in vintage fiction, and I've been getting through a lot more books this year than normal. But now at this time I am reading the wonderful 'Albion: A Guide To Legendary Britain' by Jennifer Westwood, which fits in with that earlier list, but I confess that I feel guilty that I have not been reading history as much as I should and feel a poor scholar for not having more discipline in continuing my personal studies of history; medieval history being a great interest to me. When I constantly see those shelves of books, so many of them still to read, I feel I've been too lazy. I get very excited over history books and one of my favourite bookish things to do is to explore the bibliographic sources in the back of books, which is very interesting and can set you off onto lots of other, older books on a subject.
So I am striving to be more scholarly in my reading, and while I don't promise to follow a set plan, I do intend to carry on with being more disciplined in getting a certain amount of history reading in. It has been fun to just wander and read lots of fun books too though (like vintage Puffins), and I will still do that.
I would be interested to hear of others and their view on reading plans, so do please comment.
(By the way, do visit my companion Music blog over here:
for some good music featured, if you like that sort of thing)