"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, January 18, 2023



For the past three years I have selected one big, daunting book to read a year and I give myself the whole year to read it. This year's selection is The Count of Monte Cristo. It has long been on my TBR list and I've always avoided it since it weighs in at over 1200 pages (many versions have it at over 1400 pages, depending on font size I suppose.)

And so I begin ---

First, I purchased my own copy of the book (shown above from Word Cloud Classics) since I figured there was no way I'd finish a book of that length during a regular library checkout period of three weeks. 

Initially I set myself the goal of reading two chapters a day. The chapters are very short 6-10 pages long on average. That pace, however, seemed too slow or too fast depending on my mood and my planned pacing flew out the window, stalling out around page 55 or chapter 8.

Needing a catalyst to get me moving again, I explored purchasing the audio version from my audible account and I learned that my account allowed me free access to the book. Score. But there is a problem. The audiobook is 52 hours and 41 minutes long!!! Who has time to listen to that? Well, to be honest, I do, but...that is long!!!! One solution is to bump up the listening speed from 1 to 1.25. That adjustment shaved off nearly 10 hours of listening time. 42 hours is still long, but a bit better.  

Next hurdle I had to overcome was freeing up enough space on my phone to allow a download of such a big file. Imagine me sorting through apps and old photos deciding what to trash. That task done, the download went through.

Time to start listening. The narrator is Bill Homewood who is a British actor and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has many audiobook credits to his name. I'm guessing that he speaks French, also, as his pronunciation and accent of the French words seems very authentic.

My new plan is to listen to an hour of the audiobook every day and read the print book at night or whenever I cannot listen. Based on my listening experience yesterday, I think I will conquer about three or four chapters a day at this pace. The book has 118 chapters. I hope to have the book finished by mid-March, barring any other roadblocks. Once I get further into the book I may find myself abandoning the audiobook, since I can read much faster than listen. We'll see what happens.

Periodically I'll update my progress, probably on my Sunday Salon posts. So keep your eye on how I am doing. Accountability, you understand!

Happy reading to me.


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