I am taking part in a fantastically fun social phenomenon called "Social Reading". Our social reading experience is led by the indomitable Scott Pack, the voice behind the blog, Me and My Big Mouth, the brains behind The Friday Project, the power behind the Bookswap, and the man behind the creative genius of Rhian Winsalde (his wife).
Social Reading is like a book group only better. Individuals from anywhere all read the same book at roughly the same pace and use twitter and other social media, like Scott's blog, to discuss and comment. This is the first time I have participated.
The book was chosen via a very scientific method of online voting. Anyone could nominate any book, although it appears that the best books are those great big books that are just too scary to take on alone. This time The Quincunx by Charles Palliser has been chosen.
This book weighs in at 1221 pages if you include the author's afterword and the incredibly lengthy list of characters. I would normally feel daunted by this task but because I am undertaking it with the help of countless strangers I feel somewhat reassured.
This weekend's task was to read Book I of 75 pages. The first chapter, a battle between Law and Equity, took my breath away and sucked me right in. I struggled to find the motivation to do anything other than read. I wondered if the children could just feed themselves toast all day but realised this was too big of an ask when they told me the bread was moldy. I sat up in bed until the wee hours of this morning and must confess to moving on to Book II where once again the first chapter (Chapter 7), a discussion between Wealth, Power and Arrogance, sucked me into the vortex again. Now the 1221 pages don't look like such a big task at all.
It's not too late to join us. Although there has been a run on books at Amazon, if you can find a copy, join us. You may follow the discussion on twitter using the hashtag #Quincunx and/or Scott's blog. If you can't follow along this time, the hashtag #SocialReading will keep you informed of future undertakings.
In the meantime, I've got a book to read.