The absurdly large book challenge of 2023

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions (or, very often, arithmetic), but last night I started reading Mariana Enriquez’s Our Share of Night (2022), which so far is pretty good (not yet clear if I’ll want to keep it) but also a really awkward size and shape (233mm x 158mm x 52mm and 0.7kg in paperback).

Now, I like big books, I cannot lie, but what I can’t abide is unnecessarily large volumes. There is no physical reason why Our Share of Night could not have been published as an A-format paperback, rather than this ridiculously-dimensioned trade paperback.

Which reminded me of all the book-packing and lugging involved in moving house last year (150 boxes in the 20 litre range), and how much space in those boxes is taken up by ginormous books I want to read but probably don’t want to keep. So it’s time to bring some order to my life/box-stacks and challenge myself to plough through one of these unnecessarily humungous tomes per month this year – and then probably pass it on to a friend an enemy or to the only charity shop within staggering distance (although, obviously, with these behemoths I would prefer one that represented a cause of which I do not wholly approve).

Thus in addition to combining reading with an upper-body and core strength workout and the possibility of petty revenge, by December I will have succeeded in disposing not only of 12.427kg or (I think) 33908.807cm3 of books but also any sense of joy reading them might otherwise entail.

N.B. I haven’t yet decided which one I’ll read in which month because what I really need now is an accurate word-count for each book so as to figure out the most efficient order in which to read them  – i.e., the one that most speedily clears some goddam room in this house.


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