Back in October, our topic for the Bloggers’ Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees was nonfiction anthologies. Ash (English Major’s Narrative), the topic author, is an avid essay reader and wanted us to write about our favorite collections of nonfiction writing. At the time, I admitted that I have a lot of nonfiction essay collections, but I’m terrible about reading them:
I have always wanted to be the sort of person that gets into essay collections. I can’t tell you the number I’ve bought over the years, vowing to start reading them right away, that then take a neglected place near the bottom of my unread books shelf. I’m addicted to buying nonfiction anthologies, but can’t seem to actually read them.
At the time, I also mused about trying to finally read my collections as part of a plan to read an essay every day for 365 days. When Ash said she might be interested in doing something similar, I knew I’d found the awesome partner I’d need to stay accountable. A few e-mails later, our informal Essay A Day project was born.
We’re going to keep this as simple as possible. My plan is to post about each essay I read over on my Tumblr, A Little Bit of Dorkiness, and review the full collections here on the blog. I’m also planning to define “essay” broadly and include long-form magazine writing, so I’m sure I’ll be reading a lot online. I may do a monthly wrap-up, depending how I’m feeling at the time. We’re both going to start on January 1, 2012 and run through December 31, 2012.
Anyone is more than welcome to join up — for any length of time and at any level of commitment — if you’re interested in reading more essays. We’re not doing formal sign-ups or anything, but if you want to participate just let us know so we can keep in touch.
I haven’t decided what collection to start off the year with. I’m leaning towards either one of my Best American Essays collections (I have 2011 and 2007 sitting on my shelf now) or The New Kings of Nonfiction. We’ll just have to see how I’m feeling on January 1!
Do you like to read essays? Do you have any favorite sources or collections I should look into for this project?