So, here’s the thing. Reading has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up, I never didn’t have a book I was currently on, and it impacted every aspect of my existence. My hobbies, my first freelance work, things I have been doing for literal decades (reviewing), and things I have only been doing for a short time now (writing).
But something happened around the time when I left home and came to study in America. For the first time in my life, I was living alone, had a personal laptop (don’t @ me, I’m Eastern European, and old), and then — not long after — came out as gay. Life changed, and reading was kind of left by the wayside. It’s not that I stopped reading, exactly, but I went long periods of time without a book by my bedside.
Last year, I decided to do something about it. I was already doing much better, but I wanted to get ambitious (for me). So I set a Goodreads (by the way, follow me!) goal of 52 books in 2019. A nice, weekly number. The only problem? I set that goal in late September. What’s a boy to do?
Desperately trying to catch up (I had not read over 30 books by that point), I turned to the venerable literary form of the novella. And realized that I had been an idiot, because that is, as far as my scientific analysis shows, fiction in its most perfect form. The “condensed novel” is a brilliant medium, and I discovered a metric fuckton of writers I would have otherwise ignored — some who write long form as well, and some for whom this is as long as they get.
Needless to say, I have leaned heavily on novellas for my 2020 reading challenge as well. Maybe this time I will go higher than 52. But either way, I will have read so much great fiction, that I won’t care.
Moral of this confession — cheat often, you never know what will come out of it!