Deciding What to Read Next
One of the challenges I’ve found in following the 1001 list is that, with over 900 remaining choices, I never know what to read next! Do I hit up all the biggest classics? Do I dip my hand into the pile of those less well known in search of some lovely surprises? Do I try to explore as many different styles and genres and time periods as I can, or do I fall back on the sorts of books I know that I enjoy? Maybe I should just flip my copy of 1001 Books open to a random page and say, “Yes, that one!”
During the school year, I have a good portion of my 1001 books chosen for me through literature classes, and sometimes I take that a step further by expanding on the material covered in class. Like when we read a piece of a book and I decide to finish it. Or when I decided to read some books by Irish authors because of my Irish Lit class. But summer gives me so much freedom and so much time that I’m not sure what to do with it all.
So I’ve taken a look at my old fallback, the list of books that I’ve been meaning to get around to. I think every reader has a list like this, whether it takes the form of an actual written list or just a growing stack of books on the bedside table. My personal choice is a feature on LibraryThing that allows you to add books you want to read to a list just by clicking a button from the book’s page whenever you find one that interests you.
Unfortunately, these lists also have a mysterious tendency to keep growing and growing and growing, with many of the books on them remaining there for much longer than you originally thought. And when you sit there wondering what to read next, the mind has a tendency to skip right over them, saying, “Oh, yeah, I will read that someday, but I’m going to find something else for today.” I think most people have that one book that they’ve been meaning to read for years and have never quite gotten around to.
For me, that book is The House of the Seven Gables, and today is the day I finally cross it off the list! And the rest of the summer will be spent trying to do the same with as many books as possible. And then? Well, I guess then I’ll be really stuck not knowing what to pick up next! I’ll get to that problem someday, but I’m going to worry about something else for today. 😉