Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Everest Book Report!

Everest Book Report is three years old today! Over the course of my blogging so far, I've covered 387 books, reading approximately 85,000 pages that have some connection to the world's highest mountain. I'm nowhere near completing my quest to read all non-fiction books regarding Everest, with 200 or more to go in languages I understand. The list is also growing, both because so many are written every year, and because I'm working to learn both French and Japanese to expand the literature accessible to me. I'm hoping to cover my first book in French sometime this coming year, and Japanese, gosh, who knows... (At least I can order some beers, tell time, and comment on the weather!)

I was looking for a blog to write three years ago around the same time I was looking for something entertaining to read. I looked up Mount Everest in my local (Los Angeles, at the time) library catalog, and came across 200 books waiting to be read. I thought, "That could keep me busy for a while. I wonder if I could write about it." Everest Book Report was born.

Over time, the format of my writing has changed, from a daily reading journal, to an occasional laundry list of books I've read, to a report/review of each book I get under my fingers. I've tried to make this blog a resource for Everest readers, and that's meant going back over several books I'd already covered poorly and re-reading books I had read before this blog. I love the concept of bibliographies, but the terse (or lack of) descriptions that usually accompany each entry in this format seem more like mysteries to me than help. I hope what I'm doing is more useful and user friendly. I look forward to further developing the format of Everest Book Report and, perhaps even its contents. Though it's been tempting to do otherwise, I'm planning to stay ad-free.

I feel a bit odd that I, of all people, ended up writing about Mount Everest books. I'm not a mountaineer, though I've scrambled up talus heaps of varying elevations. I'm not a writer, even if I did get some scholarships for it as a student. I honestly didn't know much about the mountain before I started writing, even if I had read about 30 books connected to it. I've never seen Mount Everest. I don't currently have any plans to. The mountain explored in Everest's literature is far vaster than anything such an experience can equal, as it also reveals 90+ years of collective history and the gathered life experiences of thousands of people within its details. I will never call myself an expert on Everest, as I honestly have no experience with Everest; I'm not going to tell you which oxygen system to use, or even which side to climb. If you need a book recommendation, however...

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