What I am Reading – Mid-November Edition

After finishing a pair of good books over the weekend, I was at a loss for what to read next. I was looking for a really good story. I think I finally found what I was looking for. Reading Old Mars gave me a desire to return to reading some short fiction (as opposed to novels). At the same time, I have been somewhat obsessed with Stephen King stories lately, in part because he is a very good storyteller. I decided, therefore, to go back and read those Stephen King short story collections that I have not yet read. These include:

  • Four Past Midnight (1990)
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993)
  • Everything’s Eventual (2002)
  • Just After Sunset (2008)

I started reading Four Past Midnight a few days ago, and I’m glad I did, because so far, it contains good stories. Actually, at least two of those stories would be considered short novels, “The Langoliers” and “The Library Policeman.” But I am more interested in being entertained by a good story than in how long that story happens to be. Indeed, if the story is good, the longer the better.

The first two collects are pretty long, and I imagine all four of these books will take me into December. So I know what I will be reading for the next several weeks, and that is a relief.

Incidentally, Four Past Midnight is my 49th book of 2013. I think my previous record, going all the way back to 1996 is 47 books, which means that already, in mid-November, 2013 is a record year for me in terms of reading books. This is almost entirely due to the fact that I have set aside my prejudices, and embraced audio books. Listening to audiobooks on my daily walks has allowed me to read a lot more books than I would otherwise have been able to read. And I am beginning to get the sense that “hearing” the words is helping me improve as a writer as well. But more on that another time.

It is entirely possible that I’ll hit 55 books before the end of the year, making this the first year that I have reached and surpassed the goal that I first set out for myself as a New Year’s resolution way back in 1996: “Read one book a week–or 52 books a year.” In the 18 years since, I have read 249 books, averaging about 14 a year. I think that will change dramatically beginning this year–and thanks to audiobooks.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.