Back to reading with short stories

I haven’t read a lot lately, and I don’t feel particularly motivated these days, so I decided to focus on short stories this month.

At first, I didn’t want to make reading goals for June, because I was afraid that it would stress me out and make me feel guilty for not completing the list. But then I changed my mind and made a list of short stories. Some of them are very short (especially the Korean ones, 10 to 20 pages long), and some of them I had already started last month. This allowed me to check several titles the first week alone.

I’m not reading more thanks to short stories (I am still reading less than I used to), but it gives me the impression that I am, and it feels very rewarding.

I think that there is a vicious circle that starts when I stop making progress on my reading goals and projects. This can happen for various reasons (other things to do, lack of time…) and it is inevitable. But then, I start feeling bad and guilty, and my reading projects that used to be a great source of motivation suddenly become a source of discouragement and defeatism. I feel like a failure for not being able to complete my own goals. And even though I love reading and enjoy most of the books I read, I feel depressed and don’t have the motivation to read anymore.

To get out of this circle, I felt like I needed to strengthen my self-esteem, and I made this checklist with short stories.

It feels great to see that I have already checked 6 items. It’s cheating because I had started two of them in May, but the goal here is to create the illusion that I’m reading a lot. And it works, because now I really feel more confident, I’m pretty sure that I can finish this list this month, and even if I don’t, as long as I can read more than half of the stories listed here, I will be happy.

There are a lot of Korean short stories because they are very short and very easy to read. They are from a collection called #기묘한 살인사건 and I love this book so so much! The stories I have read so far are exactly what I like reading. They are super engrossing and have a good twist at the end.

I completely gave up on my Spring reading challenge (read a bunch of books by Seicho Matsumoto before the end of Spring). Instead, I just incorporated some of the short stories from the collection 黒い画集 into this list. I also added two short stories by Shizuko Natsuki. It’s from a collection called 誰知らぬ殺意. I started it months ago, but I only read four stories and put the book aside for no particular reason.

The one title by Edogawa Rampo is the last short story in the second volume of the anthology 日本探偵小説全集. I’m looking forward to finish it and move on to volume 3. I have this collection for more than a year now, and I’m still reading volume 2. This is a good example of a big project that progressed so slowly it turned into a source of discouragement.

There are also two short stories from the Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award collections. I don’t blame myself for progressing slowly on these ones, because reading in Chinese is still very hard.

As for 変な家2, it looks like it’s going to be a collection of linked short stories, so I’ll try to finish it this month instead of reading one or two stories from time to time.

Seeing these boxes checked and even writing this blog post makes me feel much more positive about myself. I also designed the checkbox icons myself, so it’s even more rewarding to look at this list.