Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stress Free Binging

Editor's Note: The first lesson in a book buying sabbatical: Never go at it alone. I'm happy to report that Adam will be writing a few posts himself to highlight another side of our alternative reading journey.

As a long time comic book reader, there's always been a sense of urgency that comes with reading - a self imposed deadline to make sure you've made enough progress on your TBR pile to justify going to the comic book shop when Wednesday rolls back around. You don't have to read everything you picked up, but if you haven't read anything then it becomes difficult to silence the little voice in the back of your head saying "Do you really need to go back and get more?" New comics come out weekly, and all it takes is one week to really start falling behind. So if you want to get something new, you can't slack off.

Even as someone who reads most titles in trade form instead of single issues (where the frequency of release is much more manageable), I still find a small part of myself secretly hoping I come up empty when I glance over the list of new books that will be hitting shelves each week, that there'll be nothing new I need to add to my ever growing list. After all, it's just nice to have the time to play catch up every now and then.

Being a part of the Read Furiously's Book Sabbatical, I want to take this time to not only catch up reading titles I've fallen behind on, but also go back and revisit titles I've already read.

With an imaginary weekly deadline looming over my head each week re-reading something can feel a bit frivolous at times. You only have so many hours a week you can dedicate to reading, shouldn't you be spending it on something new, something that'll help quell the bookshelf worth of paperbacks and hardcovers making up your TBR pile (which is actually a full TBR bookshelf with mini-TBR piles in front of it at this point).

So having the opportunity to step back and really reflect on my reading, this seems like the perfect opportunity to indulge in some titles I want to revisit.

First up is Fables by Bill Willingham. With over 22 books in the series (if you don't count crossovers, standalone graphic novels, and spinoffs), I made it as far as volume 18 before I started falling behind, and as the series drew closer and closer to the end I started to come up with more and more excuses to put off reading the rest of the books.

As we entered the Book Sabbatical though, and I no longer felt the pressures of an oncoming Wednesday, it seemed the right time to return to Fabletown once more. Not just to finish off the series, but to re-read it all, from Legends in Exile to Farewell. I now had the luxury of time, so why not take a cue from Netflix and binge on a book.


But Fables seems like a the right choice to start. It's a series I began reading over ten years ago when I was still in college, and in some cases I haven't revisited the storylines in just as long. A lot of time has passed since then, and I'm a much different person now, my interests in some cases have done complete 180s. So the idea of going back and seeing how the books hold up is an exciting one.

Even as I was reading Fables the first time around it was one of those titles where my interest waned to varying degrees throughout it's run, so I can't wait to see what will it be like to read it all straight through. Will it be like when my wife and I try to pace ourselves watching Orange is the New Black only to end up finishing it in a single weekend, or will it be more like Arrow where the only reason we made it through season one was because we kept in on in the background while we did other things.

Regardless of the outcome though, just the luxury that the Book Sabbatical has offered, the opportunity to go back and reflect on the titles that have shaped me as a reader is a great one. And after Fables I've got a great queue lined up for other book series I've been looking for an excuse to dig up.

So till next time, Furious Readers.

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