I decided to come up with a new reading project. Similar to finding topics for my regular posts, I have trouble figuring out which book I want to read. For several years I only read non-fiction, mostly history;
please don’t judge. Then I opened myself up to other genres and new worlds were at my fingertips. You would think that once I increased my options I would have an easier time picking out a book. Nope, not for me. Maybe I’m too overwhelmed with all the possibilities in front of me when I’m at the library. Even though our small town library may only have ten to fifteen shelves of books along with four walls.
A couple of years ago, I gave up having any kind of system for book selection. Instead I walked down aisles and plucked out a book at random. I didn’t read the covers nor the opening paragraphs. Once I acquired two or three books in this fashion, I checked out what I had and went along my merry way. . .a soft butch kind of merry.
So now I want to try a project that I thought about doing before but never even started. I intend to read the top 100 books in the English language. Sorry, I’m not trying to offend anyone but it really needs to be in English. I never really paid much attention in the 3 years of Spanish classes and I quickly dropped German after three weeks because the only words I had learned were “Mein name ist R.” I wasn’t willing to risk grad school for the German language.
So the best 100 books, but the best books according to whom? The New York Times has a list as well as Time Magazine. Do I limit myself to only American lists? Maclean’s Magazine, Canadian, also put together a must-read list. Then I found a list of 110 books published by The Telegraph out of the UK. I belong to Goodreads, perhaps I should read a list compiled by readers?
Once I do pick a list to follow do I read every book even if I’ve read it before? What if I read it but didn’t like it, such as ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ by Ayn Rand, do I reread it? Please don’t send me hate mail if you passionately like Ayn Rand and think I must be a dimwit not to at least get some degree of enjoyment from reading that “masterpiece.” And just for the record, I gave her another chance and read ‘The Fountainhead.’ During which I felt like stabbing my eyes out. . . but I digress. What if I read the book but don’t really remember it, again, do I reread it? Do I limit myself to adult books, and no, not the adult meaning sex books? The Telegraph recommends all kinds of books, from poetry to children’s books. Do I want to read the top ten books in certain categories, i.e. The Telegraph List, or the top books ever, provided by Time Magazine? Do I limit myself to the top books of a certain century? There seem to be way too many questions for this project.
Has anyone tried such a task? How did you select which list to follow? Please pass along any helpful tips you can offer. Any advice is appreciated.