Around November all the great blogs I like to read get all quiet because everyone decides to join in on National Novel Writing Month or some such nonsense. NaNoWriMo, as it gets clumsily abbreviated, is when everyone with too much time on their hands decides to string together 50,000 words within 30 days and call it a novel. According to the official website, a few of these hard drive cloggers have actually gotten published.
I have to admit, the thought of writing a novel is pretty intriguing to anyone who has read a book and said, “I could write a better book than this poorly edited excuse.” I think even the NaNoWriMo “Winners” would have to admit that writing, like plumbing, hang-gliding, and neurosurgery, is harder than it looks. Every time I get the urge to write for potential publication, I lay down for a few minutes and it passes. I think I’ll leave writing to the professionals.
I have ransacked my Kurt Vonnegut archives to find the correct quote and I can’t so I’ll have to paraphrase something Vonnegut said when asked about the need for more writers. He replied that the world had plenty of great writers, what we really needed was a better supply of readers. (And if anyone can find the quote or find who really said it if I am just misremembering, they will earn my gratitude.)
In that spirit, I hereby, unilaterally and with no other authority that which I have granted myself, declare January to be National Just Read More Novels Month or NaJuReMoNoMo, pronounced Nah-JOO-REE-Moe-NO-Moe if you really think you are going to have a chance to say it out loud and not sound like a total dweeb.
If you’re like me, your book purchasing outpaces your book reading by a good margin. The purpose of NaJuReMoNoMo is to get around to reading all the books you buy and put on the nightstand or hide on a shelf and say you’ll get around to reading. January is a great month for this since it’s the middle of the winter, there are no upcoming major holidays to prepare for, and everyone is flush with Borders gift certificates.
Since it wouldn’t be fair to not have rules, here they are:
- Only Novels Count. I know that new Jared Diamond book is really interesting, but we can expand our knowledge base another month. This month is for novels.
- Memoirs Don’t Count. Be careful. What really is a novel is tricky. Memoirs of A Geisha is; Angela’s Ashes isn’t.
- It Can’t Be A Novel You Have Already Read. Re-reading doesn’t count. Try something new.
- You Must Start At The Beginning. Books you started but never finished can count as long as you start over and read the whole thing within the month.
- Have Fun. Nobody’s auditing the results. Don’t lie, cheat, or write bad checks. You only have yourself to answer to.
Cut and paste the following text into your blog or sidebar to show your participation:
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I’ll check in at the end of the month and we’ll see how everybody did.
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