Sam van Zweden



chris flynn

A Tangible Ass-Kicking

I know there are people out there who read lots. It’s a real thing. I know this.

There’s a whole list of them partaking in J Kaye’s 100+ Books Reading Challenge. However, the snob in me discounts them as those kind of people who read crime fiction/airport novels exclusively, chewing through five books a week. These people do the 100+ Books Challenge and write posts about how last year they read 200 books, which they’d really like to beat this year … sure. Why not?

But I also know that those people I respect read a lot. And it’s their enumeration of what they’ve read that makes my reading anxiety all the greater, and the ass-kicking I’m receiving all the more apparent.

Estelle Tang at 3000 Books estimates 50 books a year, and what she reads is always pretty respectable. I admire her.

I also admire Chris Flynn, whose post this week about the 31 books he’s read in 2010 made the ass-kicking my reading is receiving quite tangible.

Freakish reader Misha Adair has, at last update, read 30 books this year.

I’m falling behind! I’m only up to 17. Oh lordy. What a terrible person I must be! What am I doing with my time!?

…Studying. Working. Writing. Filming. Domestic-ing.

I do have some friendly competition of my own calibre though. JorjaKelly’s tally is now up to 15. She also studies and has busy busy days.

My 17 equals one book per week so far, not that it’s actually happened like that… That puts me on target for the 50 that Estelle Tang aims for. A worthy number, surely…But not 100.

To follow Chris Flynn’s quite entertaining post, though, here’s some stats. I love numbers. Just love them:

13 men. 4 women.
1 graphic novel. 14 fiction. 2 non-fiction.
3 Australian. 14 non-Australian.

Looks like I share reading habits with Chris Flynn, if perhaps not quite reading at the same rate…

But enough of this analysing business. Back to the books!

Torpedo pioneering for Australian journals

I’ve just been listening to a great interview between Estelle Tang and Chris Flynn.

Estelle Tang is creator of book blog 3000 Books, and online editor for literary journal Kill Your Darlings.

Chris Flynn is the great mind behind literary journal Torpedo. His writing appears everywhere. Really. Everywhere.

And now he’s being interviewed everywhere. One case of this is Estelle Tang’s interview (linked above) for Kill Your Darlings.

Prior to listening to this, I knew Chris Flynn was not an Aussie boy, so the accent wasn’t a shock. But my goodness, hasn’t Estelle Tang just got a beautiful voice!? I feel like Ursula the Sea Witch out of Disney’s The Little Mermaid… I want her voice!***

Chris Flynn is hot stuff right now – more than usual – because his love-child Torpedo is the first Australian literary journal to make the leap to being available exclusively on eReaders.

In their interview, Chris and Estelle discuss what this change means for publishers and writers, and why this move was the best for Torpedo.

Will this move be the big one for other journals to follow? Goodness knows we’ve got so many of them in Australia, particularly Melbourne, and all the reasons Chris Flynn outlines above are pretty great reasons for everyone to make this jump to eReaders. I know the next Sleepers Almanac will be published online, but I’m not sure if that means they’re going as far as cutting out the print copies altogether.

I’m a lover of my book collection. And other people’s book collections. I love the section of my bookshelf that has lit journals on it, all lined up in their groups and numbered accordingly. At the moment, money is a massive consideration for me, and while I can afford to buy a journal or two every now and then, I cannot afford an eReader.

I’m upset that Torpedo are abandoning people like myself, and really hope that if other journals follow suit, they keep their print copies in existence also.

*** NB: The sea witch out of Disney’s version, who harmlessly “spells” away Ariel’s lovely voice and keeps it. NOT the sea witch out of the Hans Christian Anderson version who cuts out her tongue. Not that one. No.

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