I completely, utterly identify with this:
I imposed these restrictions on my reading about two years ago and it’s had the most fantastic results. Unfortunately it requires some discipline. My self-imposed reading rule was: only one book at a time. Take the book with you everywhere, christen it – it’s the book you are currently reading. Stick with it until the end. Read at least an hour a day, then and only then can you move onto magazines and other reading material. This might sound sort of silly, these self-imposed rules, but it had dramatic results. You see, I was really lazy and promiscuous about my book reading. I would read a third of this book, lose it in the house, and then move onto a third of another book. It never added up to anything and I wasn’t finishing anything.
I am in the middle of a ridiculous number of books right now. And by “right now,” I mean “at all times.” Cybils judging has helped me focus: I’m reading AND FINISHING several books a week (but I need to step up that pace in a hurry). This is one reason I like participating in the Cybil Awards, and why I always prefer the nominations round of judging: I work best under deadline pressure, and it means I absolutely HAVE TO read a whole bunch of books.
Speaking of which, I fell head over heels in love with Allen Say’s Drawing from Memory. I’ll write a proper post about it, but don’t wait for that—go put it on hold at your library. You won’t be sorry.