I’d like to slowly read/re-read some classics this year with any of you that are interested. So, I’m announcing a new weekly blog feature I’m going to call “Slow-Read Sunday.”
I’m sure some of you have read the article by Maura Kelly that appeared in The Atlantic in March. Kelly argues that 30 minutes a day of slow-reading is not too much to ask of anyone and I tend to agree. Along the theoretical grounds she established I think we should shoot for a book a month. In a year we’ll have read 12 classics together.
What I plan to do is generally prescribe our weekly goals. Then, on Sundays, I’ll try to summarize where we’ve been that week and do my best to inspire some discussion in the comments.
By slow-reading, aiming for only a book a month, I hope you won’t feel like you’re being forced to read nothing but the month’s selection. You’ll have time for whatever else is on your reading plate. Those with limited time can find a way to read 30 or so pages a day, and if you do that every day for a month you’ll have finished one of the greatest novels ever written, a true classic.
February’s Selection: The Brothers Karamazov
In February, I think we should have a go at The Brothers Karamazov. It’s on every list of my favorite books that I’ve ever attempted to put together and Alyosha is one of my top ten favorite literary characters of all-time. I realize this is an awfully ambitious place to start a slow-reading project, but it’s the perfect book for it in my opinion because it’s long. If you can read this one you can read anything. It’s also a beautiful story with several fully developed characters.
I’ll be reading the Pevear translation. There are some cheaper editions that you could manage with, but the Pevear translation is generally viewed as superior.
For the first week I propose we read Part One, up to p. 161 of the edition above, by February 3, 2012. By my math that’s 23 pages each day for a seven-day week. If you’re using a different edition you should be able to manage by reading Part I in your edition.
Here are a couple of resources that might help you with your reading:
A Comment About Our Pace
We should average about 30 pages a day through the course of the month. If you get behind you can always just wait to read the week’s post until you’ve caught up and join the discussion then. Every Sunday I’ll post my thoughts on the section we’ve read that week and you can join in with comments whenever you get the time.
Look at this as an opportunity to start a daily reading habit if you haven’t already or as an opportunity to read a classic all over again with some new folks.