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August 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

I’ve read a lot of books in my life (upwards of 400, by my calculations). I just love reading, and I’ve been reading almost nonstop since they gave me my first library card. There are many stories I could share about my love of reading as a child, from that one Halloween where I dressed all in pink and called myself a “bookworm” (to the confusion of many of the neighbors) to the time in school when I got so absorbed in my silent reading book that I didn’t realize the class was leaving until I looked up and everyone was gone.

So I’ve done a lot of reading over the years, but it wasn’t always what you might call great quality. Sure, being obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club and Nancy Drew is fine when you’re a kid, but really they’re only a starting point. There’s a whole world of literature out there, and I want to find the really great stuff. The problem is knowing where to start, especially for someone who’s fairly new to the world of adult literature. For me, that’s where the list comes in. It’s like 1001+ recommendations, books from all over the world, from every time period. And that’s only one good reason to follow the list.

The list I’m talking about is the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, from the book of the same name edited by Peter Boxall. I say 1001+ because there have been two updates since the original version, and a third is in the works. Each time, the list has been updated, with certain books removed and others added for a variety of reasons, one of which is keeping it current as books continue to be published. I follow all three lists, which I’ve mashed together to make one big list of 1294, of which I plan to read 1001. That means I can do a bit of picking and choosing and not get stuck with books I know I’ll hate (or those few on the list that haven’t been translated into English).

I started following the list back in 2010, when I began posting to a thread on Librarything, which has a whole group of people following the list. You can find my thread at this link.

As you can see if you followed that link, I have other reasons for wanting to follow the list, one of which is that I want to be an author someday. I have found that my writing has gotten better since starting, which I think is at least partially due to the influence of all this great writing. I’ve more than doubled my original total of 16, and my number now stands at 49… which leaves only 952! It’s a good thing I’m still young!

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Entry filed under: 1001, Books.

An Overview of my 1001 Journey So Far

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