“1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” is a just what it sounds like – a list of (arguably) the greatest novels ever written. I picked up the hardcover 2007 edition a few years back. I love lists, I love reading, and I love rating things (good thing I’m a market researcher by day) so I couldn’t wait to count how many I’d read.
The book was too pretty to mark up, so I found an online list I could move into Excel: http://www.listology.com/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die
I’m pretty well read. English was my favourite subject in school, and reading in bed is my happy place (hence the blog title). I figured would at least crack 100. Imagine my surprise when I could only check off 55 or so!
I knew I had to do something. I went on a mission. Reading from the list opened up new sides of reading. I found out that language in the seventeenth century novels can be surprisingly accessible, while eighteenth century novels can be nearly unreadable. I found the temptation to cheat too much to bear when a favourite author came out with a new book. And I found that the list is far from perfect; how is “Generation X” not on there?!
I did another count last week, sure this time that I would be over 100. Nope. 83. So disappointing!
I’ve been off the list for a a few weeks now (the new Jonathan Frazen was too much to bear) and it’s time to get back on track! Check out the list, find your number, and join me as I read my way to 1,001… or perhaps 101 by 2012.