Boning up on the literature

Normally I dump most of my Christmas money in savings, but this year I decided to try a new sort of investment: books. I used a large part of my Christmas funds to buy academic books on yokai, anime and postmodern Japan, as well as the newest issue of Mechademia. I also got some books to read for fun, and the second volume in a fantasy series by a successful female Japanese author who I’m rather fond of. At the same time, I something like ten new video games. Meanwhile, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to drag through that list of anime that I really ought to have seen, but haven’t managed to get to yet, and those new series that I ought to know about. And I’m trying to clear out those books that have been haunting my shelves for years unread. (All that doesn’t even include the basic reading in Japanese that I need to do for a class I’m taking/to keep up with kanji.)

It’s a lot to do.

So I’m wondering about order, now. What should I do first? In the past, I’ve read several books at once without trouble. But many of these are academic books, which really need sustained, undivided attention. All the same, I can’t help but feel the draw of new books in the house. The anime are relatively easy – new series I watch as they come out, old series I tackle one at a time in depth. (At the moment, I’m working on Peacemaker Kurogane, at roughly two episodes per night.)

Video games are a bit different. I got a new Wii for Christmas, so many of the new games are doubling as exercise (Wii Tennis, for example). I can’t start all the games at once, though. I just can’t pick up new configurations of keyboards/controllers that quickly. At the moment, I’m doing the exercise-style games the most, to negate the extra eggnog/cookies of the past month or so.

What seems to be working is making a schedule. I made one for anime and it’s progressing relatively smoothly. I’m hoping my second book order will be in when I get home today. If it is, I’ll set down all of the books currently available and order them as well. With any luck, I should expand my knowledge of the relevant scholarship a lot over the next few months. However, I think it will go more like this: with book schedule in hand, I am inspired by New Idea for research. New Idea is related to a field which is not reflected in my new book stash, so new books get set aside for… probably more new books. And then I have even more old books that were bought but never read!

I don’t think this problem is specific to me. Have you had it? How do you deal with it?

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