Hiya! Remember me? No? Oh, fine. Neither do I, so I guess we’re even.

While it may not look like I’ve been reading much at all by the total lack of posting, you’ll be surprised to know that my lack of posting is due to two things that aren’t that:

1. The “L” key was stuck on my keyboard.

2. I’ve been too busy reading!

I know — not exactly as solid as Jessica’s “I spent the last year creating and raising a human being” excuse, but it’s a start.

As for the reading, what has been going down is that, inspired by David Denby’s classic Great Books project, I decided to, well, not to read all the great books necessarily, but to spend this year reading the books I personally should have read by now. Books most other people read in high school that I managed to avoid by taking extra Latin classes (Catcher In the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird). Books I know I love from reading passages and visiting museum exhibits that I still haven’t read all the way through (Lolita, Catch-22). Books all my friends have said I should read and, in fact, are shocked — SHOCKED — that I haven’t yet (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fortress of Solitude).

To keep my sanity I have a couple rules for this effort.

1. No Reading Books I Don’t Like — Each book gets 20 pages of my undivided attention before I bail. If I don’t want to turn the page then I stop no matter how highly recommended. A couple titans have fallen to this one already. (I’m looking at you, Adventures of Augie March!)

2. No Need to Read Fast — Time-limit reading challenges bore me. So do massive-amounts-of-reading challenges. You read 200 classics in 10 months? Yawn.

3. It’s OK to Take Breaks — As much as there are books I have to read there are also those I don’t but still will. This weekend I read three issues of the New Yorker and five issues of Howard the Duck, so there.

I’m already several books in so I’m going to try and go back and fill in some of the lost posts here and try in vain to capture some of that spirit of discovery. But the whole entire point of this post isn’t about me (surprise!). It’s about you! Why don’t you read some Books YOU Should Have Read Before? And please tell us about it, won’t you?