Sunday, 1 February 2009

How many have you read?

During January The Guardian published a series of booklets under the title 'One thousand books to read before you die'. The idea, explained in this introduction is that if you read one book every four weeks, beginning when you're 8, and finishing aged 85, you'll manage to pack in a whopping 1,000 novels (providing you don't read any twice!). The definitive list can be found here.

Well, this of course presented something of a challenge: I am nothing if not list-oriented. So, combing through, I came up with a grand total of 126/ 1000. Which is not too bad (especially if you consider that some of these 'individuals' were Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (circa 30 books); the Narnia books (7) and the Lord of the Rings (3). So really, that's 163/1037. But who's counting?

The more worrying thing was that many of those hundred books were ones that I could remember only vaguely, or knew I hadn't liked that much. Some of the ones I hadn't read were ones I have made conscious decisions not to. The Guardian sensibly didn't stick to the classics - there was an astonishing range of books represented, although I was surprised not to see a section of children's fiction - especially in a list we're supposed to start on at age 8. Which is where putting my achievement into context comes in: twenty years at 13 books a year, and I should have read at least 260 off the list. Aargh - I only have another sixty years to read them all. Luckily, as you will have read below, I reckon I pack in a few more than one every four weeks. Although possibly not off this list.

1 comment:

Jenzarina said...

96. And that's without cheating and including the ones that have been made into films I have seen.

It's an inspiring list, though. Better get reading...