Infinite Summer 2011

Infinite Jest

or, Finally Reading the Greatest Book, Like, Ever, in 92 Days

Some time ago I encountered Infinite Summer, an internet book club project wherein a broad assortment of readers around the world read and discussed David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009. Either I discovered the project too late, or I wasn’t ready to tackle it, but for lots of reasons, I feel ready now. This is the year.

Why Infinite Jest? I’ve heard enough about it (and read enough bits of Wallace here and there) that I’ve known for a long time that this needed to happen. It’s not just the most acclaimed novel in a billion years, it seems to be a book tailor-made for me. I hope not to become one of those insufferable dudes who can’t shut up about it, but I’m ready to at least become a dude who has read it. If you’re also ready to cross this monster off your bucket list, join me.

How to Read Infinite Jest? Matt Bucher has a useful list of tips by that title. Jason Kottke has too. Most importantly: read the endnotes, use multiple bookmarks, and don’t give up.

But I Don’t Have Time! Yeah, me neither. But I’m gonna make time. It’s 10 pages a day. And your TV shows are over now anyway. Now are you gonna stand there with your butt on the back of your body or are you gonna get in on this?

What’s the Plan? Well, I’m not an army of bloggers, so I’m making it up as I go along. I doubt I’ll blog about it here very much, but I’ll probably tweet about it. Some other folks had the same idea independently, although their rough schedule is a little different than mine. Here’s a chart of roughly where I plan to be at the end of each day:

[every print edition of IJ has the same pagination. This doesn't count the 100 pages of endnotes, which will be read along with whatever section they belong to. If you're on a Kindle, you're on your own - though the Infinite Summer 2009 schedule may help.]

INFINITE SUMMER 2011
Day Weekday Date Page % finished
1 Wednesday 6/1/11 11 1.09%
2 Thursday 6/2/11 21 2.17%
3 Friday 6/3/11 32 3.26%
4 Saturday 6/4/11 43 4.35%
5 Sunday 6/5/11 53 5.43%
6 Monday 6/6/11 64 6.52%
7 Tuesday 6/7/11 75 7.61%
8 Wednesday 6/8/11 85 8.70%
9 Thursday 6/9/11 96 9.78%
10 Friday 6/10/11 107 10.87%
11 Saturday 6/11/11 117 11.96%
12 Sunday 6/12/11 128 13.04%
13 Monday 6/13/11 139 14.13%
14 Tuesday 6/14/11 149 15.22%
15 Wednesday 6/15/11 160 16.30%
16 Thursday 6/16/11 171 17.39%
17 Friday 6/17/11 181 18.48%
18 Saturday 6/18/11 192 19.57%
19 Sunday 6/19/11 203 20.65%
20 Monday 6/20/11 213 21.74%
21 Tuesday 6/21/11 224 22.83%
22 Wednesday 6/22/11 235 23.91%
23 Thursday 6/23/11 245 25.00%
24 Friday 6/24/11 256 26.09%
25 Saturday 6/25/11 267 27.17%
26 Sunday 6/26/11 277 28.26%
27 Monday 6/27/11 288 29.35%
28 Tuesday 6/28/11 299 30.43%
29 Wednesday 6/29/11 309 31.52%
30 Thursday 6/30/11 320 32.61%
31 Friday 7/1/11 331 33.70%
32 Saturday 7/2/11 341 34.78%
33 Sunday 7/3/11 352 35.87%
34 Monday 7/4/11 363 36.96%
35 Tuesday 7/5/11 373 38.04%
36 Wednesday 7/6/11 384 39.13%
37 Thursday 7/7/11 395 40.22%
38 Friday 7/8/11 405 41.30%
39 Saturday 7/9/11 416 42.39%
40 Sunday 7/10/11 427 43.48%
41 Monday 7/11/11 437 44.57%
42 Tuesday 7/12/11 448 45.65%
43 Wednesday 7/13/11 459 46.74%
44 Thursday 7/14/11 469 47.83%
45 Friday 7/15/11 480 48.91%
46 Saturday 7/16/11 491 50.00%
47 Sunday 7/17/11 501 51.09%
48 Monday 7/18/11 512 52.17%
49 Tuesday 7/19/11 522 53.26%
50 Wednesday 7/20/11 533 54.35%
51 Thursday 7/21/11 544 55.43%
52 Friday 7/22/11 554 56.52%
53 Saturday 7/23/11 565 57.61%
54 Sunday 7/24/11 576 58.70%
55 Monday 7/25/11 586 59.78%
56 Tuesday 7/26/11 597 60.87%
57 Wednesday 7/27/11 608 61.96%
58 Thursday 7/28/11 618 63.04%
59 Friday 7/29/11 629 64.13%
60 Saturday 7/30/11 640 65.22%
61 Sunday 7/31/11 650 66.30%
62 Monday 8/1/11 661 67.39%
63 Tuesday 8/2/11 672 68.48%
64 Wednesday 8/3/11 682 69.57%
65 Thursday 8/4/11 693 70.65%
66 Friday 8/5/11 704 71.74%
67 Saturday 8/6/11 714 72.83%
68 Sunday 8/7/11 725 73.91%
69 Monday 8/8/11 736 75.00%
70 Tuesday 8/9/11 746 76.09%
71 Wednesday 8/10/11 757 77.17%
72 Thursday 8/11/11 768 78.26%
73 Friday 8/12/11 778 79.35%
74 Saturday 8/13/11 789 80.43%
75 Sunday 8/14/11 800 81.52%
76 Monday 8/15/11 810 82.61%
77 Tuesday 8/16/11 821 83.70%
78 Wednesday 8/17/11 832 84.78%
79 Thursday 8/18/11 842 85.87%
80 Friday 8/19/11 853 86.96%
81 Saturday 8/20/11 864 88.04%
82 Sunday 8/21/11 874 89.13%
83 Monday 8/22/11 885 90.22%
84 Tuesday 8/23/11 896 91.30%
85 Wednesday 8/24/11 906 92.39%
86 Thursday 8/25/11 917 93.48%
87 Friday 8/26/11 928 94.57%
88 Saturday 8/27/11 938 95.65%
89 Sunday 8/28/11 949 96.74%
90 Monday 8/29/11 960 97.83%
91 Tuesday 8/30/11 970 98.91%
92 Wednesday 8/31/11 981 100.00%

92 days. 1079 pages. 11 pages (+ notes)  a day. Totally manageable!

Get a copy (if all else fails, the Kindle version’s 10 bucks). We start tomorrow.

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1 Response to “Infinite Summer 2011”


  1. 1 Amy July 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Ditto! Didn’t get it done last summer. I am going to pull it off the shelf July 4 wekend, check my multiple bookmark progress, ‘recalculate’ the page count…and I’m off!


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Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).

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Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.

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