Ta Shalee Lhaih 2013 jeant. Dobbyr dou falleil ymmodee keayrtyn, agh haink lhiam ee ‘sy jerrey. Ta un skelloo dy liooar da’n charnane lioaragh aym; wahll, veagh eh mannagh beagh cummey as mooadys quaagh ec kuse jeu.
Lhaih mee 135 lioaryn noa nurree, ny cur geill cair daue er y chooid sloo roish my cheau magh mee ad. Cheau mee kuse elley gyn lhaih fockle erbee, erreish dou jannoo briwnys nagh row mee son nyn lhaih, ga dy ghow mee ad dy arryltagh hoshiaght. Cha noddym gra dy vel barel er lheh aym er y chooish, jus ennaghtyn feayslee. Cha nel y carnane wheesh trome er my aigney nish, as ga dy nee’m eab dy lhaih lioar jeh nish as reesht, er lhiam nagh beagh eh loght erbee dou geddyn lioar ass y lioarlann nish as reesht. Chammah’s shen, foddym lhaih nish gyn y bree currymagh v’er yn obbyr nurree.
Ren mee lhiah reddyn elley myrgeddin – aalhaih shenn lioaryn, earishlioaryn, bloggyn ass towse as reddyn elley. Va shen tayrn my hastey jeh’n dean ny keayrtyn, agh er lhiam dy lhig eh dou caa dy aagheddyn bree.
Dy cadjin, va doilleeidyn ayn kyndagh rish yn ailley as stroos t’orrym. Haghyr kuse dy drogh-reddyn rish y vlein, goaill stiagh coayl yn eddyr-voggyl rish daa vee. Eddyr jummal traa as bree er y chooish, as caggey stroos as ailley haink orrym kyndagh ree, cha row bree dy liooar aym dy lhaih ny keayrtyn. Ny keayrtyn elley chionnee mee dhossan dy vanga gerjoil dy my gherjaghey. Er lhiam, mannagh row y lheid er daghyrt, yinnin er stroie y lane charnane lioaragh, ny bunnys. Rish toshiaght ny bleeaney cha jinnin er gredjal shen er chor erbee.
She ram lioaryn ad 135. 88" dy lioaryn - 7.3' ny 223cm as beggan. Dy jarroo, ta kuse jeu ec sleih elley hannah, myr shen, share dou gra 8' dy lioaryn. Cha nel ben-choonee aalin aym, as myr shen va dooilleeid agglagh ayn rish jannoo carnane assdaue – ta liaragh er y laare aym, as va’n carnane jeen ass towse dy huittym. Myr shen, shoh caslys-soilshey: shen mish lhiettal un charnane lesh y derrey laue, as jannoo my chooid share carnane elley y chur er lesh y laue elley, rish y 12 hallid lhig y hamraig dou. Cha daink lhiam eh, as thullick ny ghaa ny s’anmey v’ee ceau lioaryn. Cha row mee son jannoo eab elley. Ta’n lane charnane bunnys bentyn rish y vullagh.
Ta ram jeu manga, 52 dy cruinn, agh shen 83 focklagh foast, as 14 jeu ayns çhengaghyn dynsee mee myr fer aasit. Ta ennaghtyn taitnyssagh cosnee aym. As er lhiam dy ren mee shareaghey ablid ny ghaa rish y çhalee.
Hoshiaght, hene-barrantys dy ‘aagail jeh lioar nagh mie lhiat. Dynsee mee shen ‘sy chlub lhaih blein ny ghaa erash, agh ta’n schlei shen dy kinjagh feeu cliaghtey. Mannagh vel oo geddyn fys feeu ny taitnys erbee ass lioar, cha neeu ee. Ta traa deyr ass towse. Ta lioaryn elley ass towse dyn lhaih, as reddyn elley dyn nyannoo chammah. Eer my t’ou credjal dy jig oo dy ve ny share aght ennagh liorish lhaih y lioar, mannagh vel anaase ayd as cha nel ee greimmey er dty hastey, cha cosoylagh eh.
Eisht, cur coontey giare jeh lioar as cur ayns focklyn my varel hene urree. Cheau mee traa dy lioar er ny coontaghyn, agh ren mee my chooid share dy lhiettal. Ta screeu coontaghyn cooney lhiam cur geill da lioaryn, cur dys cooinaghtyn ny lhaih mee, as jannoo briwnys ennagh er y lioar. Er y laue elley, she Shalee Lhaih v’ayn, cha nee Shalee Screeuee, as cha row mee son ceau roayr traa rish screeu oddagh mee er geau rish lhaih! Cha nel monney barelyn screeuit ec kuse jeu (wahll, er LibraryThing) as myr shen ta mee er gooney lesh sleih elley. Wahll, ta mee treishteil! Erskyn shen, ta’n screeu cur caa dou dy screeu ‘sy Ghaelg, as shen caa feer scanshoil er lhiam. Cha nel mee son caghlaa reddyn ass Baarle car y traa; share lhiam screeu reddyn noa. Er lhiam nagh beagh eh baghtal, agh ta’n lane Shalee screeuit ‘sy Ghaelg hoshiaght, as eisht çhyndaait ‘sy Vaarle. Ny keayrtyn, ta’n Vaarle ny s’liurey er yn oyr shen, son haink eie elley dou rish çhyndaa.
Oh, as cliaghtey lhaih beggan er veggan. Tammylt erash, ghow mee toshiaght dyn lhaih mannagh row tammylt fondagh aym dy chur lane gheill; myr paitçhey ren mee lhaih tra erbee va shallid aym, agh va mee er goayl y schlei. Ta’n Çhalee er lhiggey dou aachliaghtey y shenn schlei as foddym lhaih rish shooyl mygeayrt pairk, rish coayraght, as rish fuirraghtyn er red ennagh rish queig minnid.
Ard-vullee as Feer-injillid
Hirr peiagh ennagh orrym cre’n lioar hare lhiam mee nurree, as voir eh urree nagh dod mee cur freggyrt baghtal. Agh cha by gooin lhiam ny va mee er lhaih jus er y tullick. Shimmey lioar t’er ngoll fo’n droghad neayr’s Jerrey Geuree 2013. Agh shoh aigh, screeu mee coontaghyn jeu!
Lioaryn share ny bleeaney, rere mish-chaie:
- Hug mee ard-voyll dys dagh ym-lioar Bakuman. Venn eh rhym aght ennagh.
- The Stars and Under
- Byzantium, ga dy row ourys orrym hoshiaght.
- Strawberry Marshmallow ym-lioar 5.
- Journey into the Deep
- For all the tea in China
- The armchair naturalist
Oddin screeu ny smoo as goaill stiagh ny 4-rollageyn, agh shen dy liooar, er lhiam.
Trustyr ny bleeaney (kuse):
- Te yn y Grug - doolagh agglagh.
- No matter how I look at it, it's you guys' fault I'm not popular - cha doig mee cre’n lioar v’ayn, as er lhiam nagh doig yn ughtar noadyr.
- Midnight Robber - t’ee çhebbal un skeeal as cur dhyt skeeal nagh vel casley rish ayns tro erbee.
- Farlander - doolagh, broutagh as gyn anaase erbee.
- The difference engine - jummal traa, jummal caaghyn.
- The dragon in the sea - lane dy far-hicklaage far-Freudagh as gyn jerrey fondagh.
Cha jig Shalee Lhaih 2014. Ta’n Çhalee shen jeant aym; ta’n carnane marroo. Ta feme aym er reddyn noa.
Screeuym coontaghyn nish as reesht, son taitnys as cliaghtey Gaelg, agh cha screeuym er dagh ooilley lioar. T’eh ceau ny smoo tra na chredjagh oo. By vie lhiam cooilleeney reddyn elley mleeaney ‘sy traa shen.
Agh ta’n skelloo DVD aym ny sloo na’n carnane t’er... as cha ren mee monney ymmyd jeh tailley mee Lovefilm noadyr. Er lhiam dy nee blein ny Shalee Jeeaghyn ee 2014.
So, Reading Project 2013 is done, and while it was very touch-and-go towards the end, I did manage to achieve my aim. My reading pile now fits on a single shelf - or at least, it would do except that a few of them are silly shapes and sizes and have to be kept elsewhere.
I read 135 new books this year, or at least, I gave them a fair crack of the whip before slinging them out. A number of others I chucked out without reading, having decided I didn't feel like it after all. It's a bit hard to tell how I feel about it all other than a vague sense of relief. The book pile doesn't weigh so much on my mind, and while I'll still try to read from it rather than always leaving it for later, I'm prepared to allow myself a bit more leeway with libraries and so on. It'll also be nice to read without the sense of obligation that I've had this year.
While it arguably distracted me a bit at times, I've also reread quite a number of other books, plus read the news, weekly magazines, an absolute ton of blogs and sites, and so on. It's been a reading-heavy year. Rereading old favourites was invaluable at times to restore my stamina and help me chill out.
A lot of the difficulties arose because of my mood issues. Basically there were periods when things went bad, usually coupled with practical problems like a two-month loss of our home internet. Between wasting time and energy overcoming the problems, and dealing with stress and low mood as a consequence, I just couldn't face reading at all some times. Other times I ended up buying armloads of cheerful manga for some easy reading that would cheer me up. Interestingly, if I hadn't had to do that I'd probably have wrought yet more havoc on that reading pile, which at the start of the year I'd never have imagined possible.
Winnings from Reading Project
135 books is quite a lot, really. It is 88" of books - 7.3' or 223cm and a bit. Actually, it's more than that, because quite a few books have already gone to new homes, so it's more like 8' of books. Lacking an assistant I had trouble because the pile was immensely keen to fall over (a sloping floor doesn't help) so the pic here is less impressive than it might be. What we have here is me trying to heave the last stack of books onto the tallest free-standing pile while also holding it up in the few seconds allowed me by the self-timer - and failing. Seconds later it was raining books and I didn't feel like having another go, so best I could do. Fully-assembled, the pile is just short of my roof.
Quite a few of those were manga, of course, 52 of them in fact, but that still leaves 83 proper word-type books. 14 were in non-native languages. I feel I achieved something. I feel like the project has also honed a couple of my abilities.
One is the confidence to give up on a book, something I learned a bit of in book club but can always use practice in. If a book really isn't doing much for you, it is not worth your time. Time is precious. There are always more books to read instead, or completely different things you can be doing. Even if you think a book will improve you somehow, if you aren't engaged or interested, it's unlikely.
Another one is getting across a sense of a book, and my thoughts of it, fairly quickly. I ended up spending a fair bit of time on the reviews, but tried to keep it as short as possible. On the one hand I think doing the reviews helps me focus on reading, helps to cement my memories of them before I can forget, and helps me get my thoughts in order; on the other, the actual reading is the point of the project, and spending too much precious time writing about them afterwards only hinders matters. Some of the books don't have much in the way of existing reviews, especially on LibraryThing, so I feel like I helped. And of course, it gives me an outlet for Manx writing. You may or may not be able to tell, but the reviews are all written in Manx and translated freely to English, rather than vice versa - sometimes resulting in a longer English version as I get more ideas, but I tried to go back and update the Manx where that happened.
Also, getting back in the habit of reading casually. A few years ago I started drifting into the habit of only reading when I had a chunk of time to concentrate in, rather than picking up a book every chance I got, and I'd been finding it difficult to concentrate in short bursts. Reading Project has helped me regain the skills of episodic reading, reading while walking around parks, reading while cooking, and all kinds of other useful tricks.
Someone asked me for the highlights of what I've read, and were a bit confused when I couldn't give any, but I really couldn't remember what I'd read early last year. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Luckily, I wrote reviews of it all!
Absolute highlights of this year, according to past-me:
- The entire run of Bakuman got rave reviews. Obviously struck some kind of chord.
- The Stars and Under
- Byzantium, despite my initial doubts.
- Strawberry Marshmallow volume 5.
- and Journey into the Deep
- For all the tea in China
- The armchair naturalist
I notice a manga theme, I could go on with the 4-star ratings, but it's far too much effort to be honest. There's a lot of good books out there, anyway.
Worst books I read (a selection):
- Te yn y Grug for being miserable as sin.
- No matter how I look at it, it's you guys' fault I'm not popular for either not knowing what it was doing, or not articulating that usefully.
- Midnight Robber, for not being remotely the book it claimed to be, in genre, themes or tone.
- Farlander for grimdarkery.
- The difference engine for tedium, misery and repeated opportunity-wasting.
- The dragon in the sea for being dated Freudian psychobabble.
There is no Reading Project 2014. I have done that thing, and am moving on; the goal of cutting down my reading pile is accomplished and I want a change.
I'll continue to do book reviews, especially as it keeps my Manx writing hand in, but I'm not going to review everything any more. It takes up a surprising amount of time and I want to focus on other things this year.
The next target staring me in the face is the stack of DVDs too large to fit on my single DVD shelf, and the largely-neglected Lovefilm subscription. It looks like Project 2014 is Watching Project.