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.