“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Like people everywhere I have been trying to find ways to keep safe, healthy and fit, stay productive, and also entertain myself during this period of self isolation and limited contact with the outside world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In general, I have kept my attitude positive by adhering to the golf/life maxim to “play them as they lie!” I now treat every day as a gift, a new adventure in living my very unexpected life.
In the search to find things to do however I unfortunately got caught in the great “binge” trap. Without much thought I was soon over eating and drinking, gaining weight and finding ways to “relax.” With some effort, I was able to course correct and get back to a better place.
Being extremely curious but easily bored I decided to focus on reading books as my preferred entertainment and learning activity for the duration of the virus crisis. In the past six months, I have read an eclectic mix of 55 fictional and non-fiction books, my daily newspaper subscriptions to the English-language Japan Times and the international edition of the New York Times, and a host of online newsletters and other interesting and helpful information sources.
One of my favorite literature genres is mysteries, particularly those involving interesting detectives and I decided to embark upon a “binge” reading project involving the books of two of my favorite mystery authors that involve fictional detective characters –– Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Georges Simenon’s Inspector Jules Maigret. [Note: I have previously done this with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming’s 007 James Bond series as well as a number of other authors with interesting fictional characters.]
Poirot is a Belgian private detective best known for his iconic mustaches and using his “little grey cells” to solve the most puzzling cases often accompanied by Captain Arthur Hastings, who acts as the Watson to his Holmes.
Maigret is a gruff, but patient and fair, French police detective who serves as a commissaire of the Police Judiciaire de Paris.
Christie wrote 37 Poirot book titles plus a collection of 50 short stories. Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series includes 75 book titles and 28 short stories. My goal is to read every Kindle edition of these books in the order of publication (including re-reading a number I had previously purchased as paperback or Kindle editions).
To date, I have read 19 Poirot books and 8 with Maigret and completed nearly all the short stories.
While I have tried to manage my binge reading, I take naps during the day to makeup for the loss of sleep due to reading at night.