How To Read Big Books

I just finished reading The Decameron. It took me 20 days instead of the 10 I planned, but I finished the stories, I uploaded all the videos and it’s a wrap.

If you’re not familiar, The Decameron is a collection of 100 short stories that are told by 10 characters who escape the black plague of the mid 1300s by leaving home together and taking refuge in a countryside palace for just over 2 weeks. The stories, written by Giovanni Boccaccio, were originally published in Italian and I read a translation by Wayne Rebhorn which took up 947 pages of text and footnotes. To date, it’s the longest book I’ve read front to back  – I’ve read encyclopedias and textbooks that were longer but I certainly didn’t read those cover to cover – so this is quite an accomplishment for me.

I also started sketching storyboards for the stories when I started Day 3 and over the course of those 8 videos, I saw my creativity improve, my doodles get better and I started enjoying the stories more when I started visualizing them for the artwork. I certainly recommend this technique if you’re ever reading difficult text and have the time to play with the story in this way.

If you’re new here, and even if you’re not, click here to watch the final video on my YouTube channel and please subscribe so you can see what book I discuss next.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay says:

    You did great with this series! I actually love bigger books and when I was younger and had way more time, thats mostly what I read. I have so much on my TBR list and have no idea when ill get to this but I put it on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Yes, you have a lot going on right now so reading a 900+ page book might not come close to the top of your list anytime soon 🙂 The good thing about this particular book is that while there is a plot surrounding the characters who are telling the stories, the focus isn’t really on them so you can enjoy the individual anecdotes without worrying about losing track of what’s happening with the 10 young people. And when you get to it, I’ll be here to discuss.


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