Anderson on the Ultimate Summer Read

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Photo: istockphoto, Little Brown

There are two basic approaches to summer reading: flit around through endless disposable quickies, or get ambitious, buckle down, and devote yourself to a single mind-overhauling life-changing masterwork.

This summer I’m going with the latter: I’ve just started reading along with “Infinite Summer,” a web-wide book club (organized by the excellent Morning News) that’s going to discuss Infinite Jest in doable installments of 75 pages a week (roughly ten pages a day) from June to September.

It’s a great excuse to conquer a novel that’s notorious for chewing up readers who try to go it alone. It’s also the ultimate DFW tribute: a chance, nine months after his death, to funnel the lingering sadness and confusion and curiosity and weird feelings into actual deep attention to the work he poured most of his ambition, brain, talent, and heart into.

The party just started this week, so it’s not too late to join (if you’ve tried the book before and given up, you might already be ahead of schedule): Get a primer on how to read the book, download your handy reading-schedule bookmark, and check out impressions from guest bloggers like the lead singer of the Decemberists.

If you’ve dusted off your old copy of the book (or ordered a brand-new one) and are planning to read along, let us know in the comments.