Released in October 2011, 1Q84 is Japanese author, Haruki Murakami’s career-culminating work of art (I just made that up). Weighing in at 944 pages and transporting the reader to alternate realities involving assassins, sex, and of course, cats, this novel is a big deal.
Because Murakami is my favorite author, I was super excited to read 1Q84. Unfortunately, so were a lot of other people. As a minimalist (and cheapist), I always rent my books from the library. I waitlisted myself for the exclusive privilege of renting 1Q84; my position? # 83. Not to worry, I’m sure the eager beaver readers read fast….how long could it possibly take?
FIVE months later, I finally receive the coveted e-mail from the Dallas Public Library, informing me 1Q84 was ready for download to my Kindle! Woo! Unfortunately for me, I was deeply engaged in another heavy-hitter, World Without End, by Ken Follett. Weighing in at 1,042 pages, I had a ways to go when 1Q84 became available.
I only had 3 days to checkout 1Q84, and 21 days from there to read it. (Over)Confident of my reading abilities, I decided to finish World Without End within the week, giving myself a full 14 days to read 1Q84– plenty of time!
A shocking disruption to my daily life (alcohol and socializing with humans) threw everything off course, threatening my domestic tranquility and ability to read at 10pm on a Friday night!
Before I knew what hit me, I was slammed with another, much less coveted email from the Dallas Public Library, informing me I have three days before my 1Q84 rental expires. WHAT?! NOOO!!
Worst part? Because my rented copy is electronic, I can’t hold the book until I finish it and eat the late fine. No, the long-reaching grips of the digital gods will literally rip the book from my fingertips. Figuratively. Second worst part? I checked this email after randomly waking up at 2 AM, prompting a plethora of nightmares until I woke up in a sweat-filled panic. Whoever coined the phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff” has obviously never waited five months to read a book, only to have the threat of not finishing it loom over their head. I’m in a race against time!
This email hit me when I was 45% done with the book. Who has a calculator, here? I do. I had to read 520 pages in three days.
It is now two days later. I have tailored my workouts to enable me to read while I workout (stationary bike). I have extended the age old reading-on-the-toilet bit to include reading while brushing my teeth, and perfected the routine to read out of my peripheral vision while doing my make-up. I read while I prepare my dinner (I’ve only obtained one serious burn!). I read while I eat meals. I read while I’m on conference calls (just kidding, boss). I read when I walk from the bathroom to my computer. For the last two days, I have been a lean, mean, non-stop reading machine.
With only 24 hours remaining, you may wonder where I stand. You
may not definitely do not care (who the heck is even still reading this garbage?). I am 72% done. Meaning–who has a calculator? I do–I have 272 pages to read in 24 hours. Mission near failure. But, I will not give up! No, I will not! I will steadfastly remain true to my goal, until the digital gods inevitably snatch a precious, priceless jewel (or, $14.99 from Amazon) from my grasps.
In other news, I am lacking in groceries; this is what I ate for dinner tonight: