Tuesday, February 10, 2009

02009 New Year's Resolution #11: Get Religion (Not Really)

I'm currently in the middle of reading The Troll Circle, By Sigurd Hoel. I have multiple Hoel books in my collection, but I haven't yet read them all. Despite not having read The Troll Circle or Meeting at the Milestone or Sinners in Summertime all the way through even once, I did get around to reading The Road to the World's End for a second time recently. It's really a beautiful book. Beautiful in the way I think of poetry in its most idealized state. Maybe the most beautiful book I've ever read. If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, as the receipt that's tucked in the book can attest, I have been in possession of The Troll Circle for over 12 years. I bought it as a special order (with a fairly steep $35 price) on January 13, 01997. And I'm just now getting around to reading it.

I am also rereading The Catcher in the Rye for the first time since high school.

On top of that, I am very lazily making my way through my hardcover copy of Blindness (purchased before Saramago won the Nobel). (I also have several other Saramago novels, long in my possession, just waiting to be read).

Given all of this information, you might guess that my next New Year's Resolution would be something along the lines of "I resolve to buy no more books until I have caught up on those I already own." No such luck.

Instead, I have told you all of the above about what I'm reading merely to establish (a) that I have fallen far behind on my reading list and (b) that I have no objection to reading old books, even when newer ones are available. If something about a book interests me, I'm happy to put it on my list, although I am fully aware that I will die with a large collection if books that I have simply never found the time to read.

So, now you may wonder what my next New Year's Resolution really will be. Well, I'll tell you. My eleventh New Year's Resolution of 02009 is as follows:

I resolve to take a genuine stab at reading Holy Bible, by assorted dead guys.

From what I've seen of it so far (during multiple halfhearted starts and the occasional leafing through), this will not be easy. The thing seems unwieldy and just plain dull as dirt. Nonetheless, I'm really going to make an effort this time. I've owned a copy for a very long time (much longer than I've owned my copy of The Troll Circle), and I figure I might as well try to discover for myself whether it has any literary merit.

I'm not really expecting to get through the whole thing within the next year. But I am, at the very least, aiming to get through the first few books. Let's say from Genesis through Deuteronomy. If I can get even farther, great! And if my King James version proves to be too unpleasant, I'm even willing to commit to switching to a different translation in hopes that it will be more penetrable.

Note: I will begin this little endeavor after I've completed The Troll Circle, not before.

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