Daily Journal: April 10, 2023

Today’s reading has started really slowly, and I had a ton of pending tasks from real life to attend to that I’ll have to make up in this late hour of the night.

The good news is that my surplus of pages from past weeks has gone down exponentially compared to last weeks. This is a direct result of the two outstanding weeks of reading I had. From week 42 to the current week 45, my negative page count went from 8,330 pages behind to 4,526, which is just the kind of forward motion I needed to re-spark my hopes of ending the year with the ultimate goal under my belt.

In order for that, there’s only thing I have to do, read. Tonight’s itinerary will revolve in volume seven of the fantasy series. Pathfinder: Spiral of Bones, it’s been a while since my journey has taken me over the perilous paths of this vast universe, and now they will lead to Kaer Maga, The City of Strangers, let’s see what new terrors await me.

If I don’t succumb to sleep quickly, there’s maybe the next volume, that would be number nine, of the Manga series Fairy Tail. Let’s see what new misadventures this rag-tag group of wizards get themselves into after their guild house collapse unto itself, You’ll think there will be hell to pay.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 9, 2023

Another amazing day for my reading. Today’s total is a staggering 594 pages, getting the total for the week to 2,412, almost doubling the quota, and getting those pesky red numbers way down.

The total for April is now 3,985, which represents almost 73% of the monthly quota. Maybe I’ll push a little over my desire to hit the hay and get that total over 4,000 pages, at least to finish the current volume of the Manga series that is currently on my queue, Fairy Tail volume eight, the third one of the day.

The cool thing is that there’s fifty volumes available thru my Kindle Unlimited membership. As far as I’m concerned, it is not only the sheer amount of pages that number of volumes represent,there’s also the fact that the story is only getting exponentially better, to think that gives me so much joy that I can immerse myself is a long epic tale.

I have device some new plans for getting past the 64,000-page, but most importantly, I’ll resurrect some old plans to enhance the experience of getting thru this project as I envisioned it from the get-go.

I posted in past entries a basic structure of all the little things that accompany the reading experience as a whole. For those who have started following the blog recently, here is what I intend to pursue in the future, hopefully with a bit more success than last time

These are the 5 building blocks of my reading experience:

  1. Numbers : In this section I will talk about how my goal to read 1,000,000 pages is going, from my day to day reading to any special events like readathons.
  2. Azriel’s infinite bookshelf : In this section I will talk about what am I reading, it will not be a review of books or comics, I can’t stress this enough, it is only what I liked about what’s on my reading pile, focusing on the general plot, the creative team, and my favorite parts.
  3. Caffeine pilgrimage: If there’s anything that comes close to love of reading is my love for coffee, and in recent years there’s has been a boom of great independent coffee shops in the binational region that I live, this includes our sister city of El Paso, Texas, this section will be focused on visiting each and every one to try new flavors.
  4. The Table : As with the coffee shops, our region has seen a new wave of locally owned restaurants, taprooms, and wine bars, with some amazing regional culinary proposal, this is a perfect time to share what our beautiful desert has to offer.
  5. Itineribus : This section will talk about our getaways, if it’s exploring our region, and all its magical places, to trips to larger cities all over the place, this section will act as an travelers journals of places, food, and memories of our travels

There you have it, a bit ambitious but doable. I think the time has finally come for me to encompass the whole experience and share it with you, who so graciously take your precious time to follow and read my daily ranting.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 8, 2023

I can now officially say that year number fifteen is my second best total page count of the whole project, now only, still a very considerable margin, behind the behemoth of a year that was last year’s reading. I tallied this morning, my latest reads, and got the pleasant surprise of reaching 47,736 pages, that’s 31 more than year number one.

Now, only stand 18,063 pages to match up to my greatest achievement, but to be completely honest and realistic, if I can cross the 60,000-page mark, I’ll be super proud of the outcome, and find some way to make up the difference in the upcoming years.

What concerns this week’s reading? With still a whole day left to do some serious reading, my total is 1,677 pages, which are 417 more than the minimum quota. My focus for the remaining sessions is to read at least 329 more pages to get my numbers balanced with the huge and thankfully reducing surplus pages from past weeks.

The month of April is shaping up to be another really successful outing. With a total of 3,250 pages in only 8 days, representing almost 60% of the monthly quota, it makes it that much easier to use the forward momentum to get those red numbers sponged into a more acceptable hue. Being that, according to my latest projection, I need around 3,000 extra pages to keep this year in shooting distance from the ultimate goal.

To keep things rolling, I have some pretty interesting things line-up. The first, which is already on the finished column, and consequently my first endeavor into Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere Universe, is the graphic novel White Sands, set in the desert world Taldain, follows the perilous journey of the Sand Masters in a planet wide conspiracy to wipe them out,

Unlike Anakin Skywalker, I do enjoy sand, and it’s always pleasant to see stories portrayal on a desert setting, which is not a carbon copy of the most famous deserts in other Science fiction or fantasy universes, and the intricate and unique magical system of the sand manipulation is quite mesmerizing to see.

What I plan to read to close out the night is the fifth volume of the highly entertaining manga series Fairy Tail, following the rag-tag group of legendary wizards,at least, that’s how they portrayal themselves, as they fight uncovered Gray’s past while preventing a figure of his past reviving a dangerous calamity demon. This series is pure fun, I mean, if you can be impressed with a cat with wings, than nothing will.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 7, 2023

I haven’t tallied the last graphic novels from my last reading session, but there’s the certainty of this year being the second best total of this entire project, knocking off the very first year and only having last year’s behemoth accomplishment as the top and what I inspire to keep on doing for the upcoming 8 years.

Today’s total is 217, helping April’s quota pass 52% of the total with 2,912 pages. Also, this week’s quota has been achieved with 1,339 total pages and the two most productive days ahead of me. This time of progress helps me shift my focus to the additional pages lingering from weeks that my reading wasn’t as solid. That number is represented by 623 pages to get thru in order to keep the fight going toward a 64,000-page year.

The close out the evening’s reading I’ll work on the mysterious new book that is on my queue, which consequently is the next subject of discussion on the podcast “Estrellas y Dragones ” with our friend from loqueleemos.com. All that I can say is that it will be the first science fiction book that we tackle and is from an extremely popular author who is not famous for his endeavors in this particular genre, I have said enough.

I’ll take a few minutes before starting my last session to select a new manga series, being that the last available volume, number eleven, on my Kindle Unlimited membership of Noragami: Stray God is already in the finished column. There’s a few very interesting choices ranging from four available volumes to one that has over thirty volumes available. Let’s see what catches mu eye.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 6, 2023

It’s kind of a slow day of reading. My current total is 144 pages, but still, I’m ahead of this week’s quota by almost 145 pages. This doesn’t mean that I’ll break my 14-day streak of reading over the daily minimal, but it’s nice to have a bit of breathing room for days when the engine is not firing on all cylinders.

On this, the sixth day of the month of April, the projected quota is nearly 45%, with a total of 2,435 pages, quite the impressive feat. All this good rhythm has gotten me so close to making this year the second best total of the fifteen years of the project. As I posted yesterday, and even more so today, that goal is within my grasp.There’s only a matter of 577 pages pesky to get there.

To get there, I’ll pull out the big guns in the form of the next three volumes of the manga series, Noragami: Stray God. Before I succumbed to sleep, I promised myself to finish the ninth volume of the series, pictured below. Judging by the fact that I’m on page 145 of 203, it’s not such a farfetched goal.

With the weekend just around the corner, I’ll aim to at least chip away 300 pages of the surplus pages from past weeks, slowly but surely working my way to those 1,000,000 pages.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 5, 2023

Another very successful day of reading. Right now, my total for the day is 220, which brings the total of April to 2,285 pages, almost 42% of the projected quota. What impresses me the most is that I have kept the pace so steady, counting today, I’m on a 12-day streak of reading over the daily quota.

This has me on the brink of surpassing my first year of reading as the second best total of the fifteen years that this project has been active. The mark to achieve in order to put the current year only behind last year’s behemoth accomplishment is 47,705 pages. According to my last update, which includes today’s registered pages, there’s only 576 pages between me and that incredibly important milestone.

Speaking about today’s reading, I finally got around to reading one series that had been roaming around my nostalgic mind. I’m talking about the hit-series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin.

Not to give anything major, but as far as the new run of the famous, pizza eating, ninja swag Turtles, this is by far the best story-arc I have read. You should discard any image contributed by the many animated shows, which are great fun, but the comic book version of the Turtles, going all the way to their conception by Eastman and Laird in 1984, is a dark and gritty story. This particular arc, as the title suggests, is the story of one of the four, not going to spoil who it is, and his quest on a not so distance future and the latest high-tech incarnation of the Foot Clan, a must-read for anyone.

With the weekend fast approaching, my immediate goal is to position this year as the second best and do my best effort to get as close as possible to the 64,000-page.

Tick, Tock…the reading clock goes

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 4, 2023

Today was a pretty chill day for reading, not by choice but still coming off such an impressive week of reading. Anything less than those astronomical numbers seems like I’m falling behind my pace once again, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

My total for today is currently 158. That’s only 22 pages from my minimal daily quota, so it’s not as catastrophic as it seems in my head. Proof of this is that on the fourth day of the month, I just crossed the 2,000-page mark, and my new reading is proving to be the most enjoyable and effective way to read every day without compromising the other duties that make my day to day

I know that this passed few days the book front of my reading has been a bit neglected. In my defense, there has been a tidal wave of great graphic novels that have sequestered my full attention. Take, for example, the two graphic novels on today’s reading queue. The first is Juan Gimenez The Fourth Power, a science fiction thriller following the dangerous trek of pilot Mega behind enemy line on an interplanetary conflict.

The other is the latest, at least for me, adventure of the rag-tag crew trekking thru very familiar scenery of the Dungeons and Dragons universe. This particular issue comes with a familiar threat from the Forgotten Realms Underdark, the eerie Illithid, mind controlling humanoids with octopus features in their heads, but that the least to worry about, their psionic powers are fear even by the unshakable Drow.

My first encounter with these fearsome race was thru their encounters with the legendary Drow Drizzt Do’Urden. Even the fearsome ranger had problems escaping the overwhelming power.

I better get back to it for tomorrow, I’ll start the next book to discuss in the podcast I’m collaborating in , said book shall, for the time being, remain a mystery.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 3, 2023

I thought that a sort of “reading hangover ” was going to take over my this week’s activities. I mean, what was achieved last week was no easy task, but much to my delight, the reading rhythm has maintained a very decent pace.

My total for today is 280 pages, summing up, in only the third day of April, a total of 1,853, which represents almost 34% of the projected quota. I’m in desperate need of getting the numbers update post back on a weekly basis. There have been quite a few exciting developments, especially on the end dates of the first 500,000 and the whole project, not close to where they should be, but moving forward with each passing day.

With this in mind, I’ll try to squeeze in some more pages before the day is done, of course, in addition to what is already in the registered pages column, which are a couple of pretty interesting story.

First, a return from a few weeks of hiatus was volume number twenty-five of the Manga series Shaman King. The battle still rages on to close out the tournament and hopefully crown the new king of the Shamans. The story is always high paced and fun of action, with a very welcomed dose of acid humor.

The other graphic novel was the first work that the extremely talented Jeff Lemire wrote and illustrated, Lost Dogs, following the story of a behemoth of a man that loses his family in a tragic encounter, and finds himself crawling back from what could have been his watery grave, mind you, this is not a feelgood story with a happy ending, but as with all of the stories I have read from Mr. Lemire, it’s a necessity to read and to see how his particular style of illustration begins to emerge. It’s simply a delight to witness.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 2, 2023

Although this has been a historic week for my reading progress, there’s still one last thing I have to do in order to achieve, for the first time, what seems to be an impossible task, read the weekly quota three times over, that means a total of 3,780 pages.

I’m just 203 pages away from getting there. With a couple of hours left on reading day, the odds are looking tipping toward my favor. In addition to reaching this outstanding milestone, it will also mark one of the best starts to a new month of reading. The total for April, in only two days, is 1,349 pages, which represents almost 25% of the total quota for the month.

Things are getting to a rhythm that’s starting to show serious promise to get me over the 60,000 page mark, and even being really optimistic, getting the 64,847 pages that I projected for the year. This is all toward getting to that 1,000,000-page not only in time but also with a little panache.

Now, I must not get ahead of myself. There’s one more graphic novel left on my queue for today, Noragami: Stray God Vol. 8, this will leave with only 1 page to reach the goal, that’s where a couple of pages from The Book of Lost Tales will come really in handy.

I’m on these privileged position, thanks in part of the amazing graphic novels that were on this lazy Sunday TBR pile. I will not get into detail, being that I have more present matters to attend to, but you can see in the images below what comprise said material.

Off to read.


Daily Journal: April 1, 2023

This couple of days have been outstanding for my reading progress, and I do mean earth-shattering good. Yesterday finished with a total of 609 pages, and today, with one more reading session left in the tank, my total is a whopping 743 pages, which represents almost 14% of the month quota, and in one day, I hear celebratory fireworks going off in my head.

This is the perfect way to start the next to last full month of my year. My year finishes on June 6, so that gives only April and May in their entirety, and those 6 days of June become the most intense period of reading for the year.

By the way, March ended with a total of 7,153 pages, which is 1,635 pages over the projected quota. I was aiming for over 2,500 extra pages, but I’m not complaining about the end result. Any forward motion is gravely appreciated, more so with the clock winding down freakishly fast.

Today, my reading choices took another pathway, I was focusing on a couple of manga series for most of the week, and I needed a change of pace in order to keep things fresh and exciting. The main reason today’s progress is so amazing is because of the two graphic novels that accompanied me thru the day.

The first is a fresh look on the classic novel by the vampire queen herself, Anne Rice. For this particular adaption of Interview with the Vampire, we get to witness the story thru Claudia’s eyes. If you think the original novel was harrowing, the experience of the child vampire is even more heartbreaking. I loved the artwork by Ashley Marie Witter, who also adapted the story, is simply breathtaking, her color choices of making it Sepia hue with a splash of blood red, gives every panel a dreamlike quality.

The other graphic is the award winning trilogy by one of the best and favorite writers working on comic books right now, Jeff Lemire. Essex County, located in Ontario, Canada, tells the story of the happenings in a rural town, loosely based on the author’s hometown, where the everyday life of a plethora of characters collide over three generations.

As with most of the comic books that Mr. Lemire writes and illustrates, you’ll find conplex stories that will not suit the casual comic book reader. They are filled with such beautiful insight into the harsh and difficult times that most human beings have to traverse in their existence, facing ghosts from the past, sometimes as cathartic moments, and others just as haunting memories. All of this is perfectly captured by the minimalistic approach of Mr. Lemire’s artwork, not one line, is missing or exceeding what the moment needs to be perfectly captured. As you can tell, I just simply love his work.

There’s still a couple of graphic novels buzzing around and begging to be devoured, but I think it is probably best to close out today’s session with a little bit of Robin Hobb’s The Ship of Magic.

Off to read.


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