I have been looking for a new project, and a reason to be a more disciplined reader. I decided to keep a journal, online, of my third attempt to read through the Thousand and One Nights — the Arabian Nights, if you will. This time I am determined to get past 300 nights without getting hopelessly confused by nested stories.

For Christmas I received the latest Arabian Nights translation by Lyons and Lyons (2010) as well as the two-volume Arabian Nights encyclopedia by Marzolph (2004).  It’s all a literary nerd could desire.

My plan is to read through the stories faster than Scheherazade originally recounted them.  Each translator has complied and arranged the stories as they wanted; reputedly, there are both more and fewer than 1,001 stories to choose from.  My goal is to not only finish this version of the stories, but also to understand the history of the folktales Lyons chose and how they differ from the versions compiled by Galland, Burton and others.

This blog is written primarily for myself.  You are, however, welcome to come along on the journey/