I've had a copy of The Tale of Genji on my bookshelf for several years now. It's status as the world's first novel (though that term may be a tad anachronistic) intrigued me, but it's size and scope (1120 pages/11th Century Japan) was intimidating. Last week, however, I discovered the Summer of Genji - a group of readers who will be spending between now and August 30 reading and discussing The Tale of Genji. With this discovery, I've decided it's finally time to get started on this massive epic.
Why am I making such a big deal out of this? Well, for starters, it's a great idea to read a book like this online because, honestly, how else are you ever going to get a group of people together who are willing to read it? Plus, the whole Summer of Genji project is still in its infancy, and so there's time for you to join in as well.
Second, it's a massive book, which may result in a reduction in the number of blog posts, or at least an increase in the number of posts that aren't actually about books I've finished reading. I will be reading other books at the same time, once I catch up to the Genji schedule, but the number of books I finish will inevitably be reduced.
Finally, it gives me an excuse to start a new series of posts where I show a picture of how far I am through this massive book. Here's my progress after several hours of reading yesterday: