The New Old Pastime

Since moving to Japan, I've set aside one of my favorite pastimes for the sake of other priorities. While this is something that many of us are forced to do as new responsibilities and new situations arise, we shouldn't always have to leave the past in the past. In my case, I had to put reading on hold back in 2007, and it's something that I've tried to restart from time to time. In fact, I can count the number of books I've read in the last four years; something that would have been impossible while living in Canada. This is something I plan on changing this month.

Star Trek BooksSince receiving a Star Trek book for my 8th birthday, I've consumed an average of 80 full-sized novels a year. The majority of these have been in the Science Fiction realm, but a healthy percentage have included some of the great works from around the world. This is something that I sorely miss. It's true that with the explosion of content on the Internet, we can read an incredible amount of work written by thousands of people every week. But it's not the same as reading a single, coherent story. It doesn't fill in that need many of us have to hear stories with our favorite characters overcoming difficult circumstances.

Which is why I've decided to embark on a new project. One that will take years to complete. I'm going to re-read every eBook I've bought in the last 12 years and write a review of each one. Looking at the contents of my eReader, there are 372 Star Trek books, 200-odd other Science Fiction books including the titles written by Kim Stanley Robinson, and 400 other non-technical books. In addition to writing a review on each of these books, I hope to fill in the gaps in my Star Trek library and have the dubious distinction of being one of the many people who have read each and every (published) Trek book.

But why do this? Just for the sake of re-kindling an old pastime? Yes and no. Reading exercises the brain in ways that TV can't. It also gives us the opportunity to boost our vocabulary as language can be very difficult to maintain while living in a foreign nation. In addition to this, I hope that by writing a review of these books, I will have the opportunity to see these stories from a new light. My understanding of the world was very different the first time I read these books, and I've learned quite a bit in the meantime. Will my perception of these books be different, now? Absolutely. And it's this introspection that I look forward to.

The reviews will not be written on this site, but instead on another blog that will be set up for the sole purpose of book reviews. Hopefully, in the next few years, it will have enough content to actually be of value to people looking for new books to read. So, now the tough question: which book should I read first?

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