2016 STATE OF THE BOOKRACE ADDRESS, WITH APOLOGIES TO GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON

We will read them on the beach!

Be seated.

My brave and hearty, inkstained comrades with thumbs calloused from flipping pages, all this stuff you hear about people not wanting to read, wanting to stay out of the library, is a lot of hooey. People love to read. And readers love to win. And winners love to race. And we. We lucky few. We love to BookRace.

All true BookRacers love the sting and clash of battle. BookRacers love a reader, and will not tolerate a non-reader. BookRacers read to win all the time, even when they’ve already started another book that they haven’t finished yet but they left that one at home so they can’t read it right now because they’re not at home right now, so they read something else. That's why BookRacers have never failed and will never fail to read. Because, the very thought of failing to read is hateful to those who BookRace.

BookRace is the most significant competition in which a Bay-area-based-reader-who-we-happen-to-know-within-one-or-two-steps-of-our-immediate-social-circle can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

Now, some of you readers, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken-out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. Maybe you will forget to log something in to NextRead. Maybe you will realize, too late, that all the unpublished bootleg Lemony Snicket fan fic you’ve been devouring isn’t eligible for your wordcount. Maybe you will, like me, intend to really finish Moby Dick this year but will get distracted by television, spicy foods, “having a job”, The Paris Review, or sex. None of these setbacks matter. What matters is returning to the page, and returning to the race. In 2016, you will read books. You will do this. I can see it in your squinty, strained eyes, and in your recklessly optimistic hearts.

Unread books are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their words. Read them hard, with precision, when they least expect it.

We will read them on the beach. We will read them on the bus. We will read them in the privacy of our homes, and we will read them right out in public, where everyone can see, especially if they are Murakami.

In 2016, we will read books!

In 2016, we will log books!

And in 2016, WE WILL LOSE TO MARIA AGAIN, PROBABLY, AND BY A GIGANTIC LANDSLIDE, EVEN WITH THE NEW SCORING, BUT WE WILL NOT BE DETERRED, FOR THE GLORY LIVES NOT IN VICTORY, BUT IN BATTLE, and in 2016, we will BOOKRACE!

Thank you.

Meg Cohen