Deciding What to Read Next

June 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm 7 comments

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. 😉

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Entry filed under: 1001, Books. Tags: , .

Invisible Man First Question: What Exactly is a Gable?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  June 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Have you read ‘Look Homeward, Angel’? Supposedly a classic, though most haven’t even heard of it.

    Reply
    • 2. dste  |  June 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      I haven’t read that one, or even heard of it either. Now that I look, though, it is on the 1001 list. Is it really good? Maybe another one to add to that list of one’s to read!

      Reply
      • 3. Corey  |  June 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        I haven’t read it either- it’s actually on my bucket list to do so, because I haven’t read a coming of age story from the early 20th century (also, I think the title is kind of beautiful).

  • 4. thoughtsofliterarylove  |  July 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Have you read any of the Pynchon or DeLillo from the 1001? I was looking through that at the beginning of the summer and made a list of the novels I wanted to read from it and somehow it has been misplaced!

    Reply
    • 5. dste  |  July 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      No, I haven’t read any Pynchon or Delillo yet. I haven’t really heard much about them, actually. Have you read them, or are you just interested in reading them? Either way, I’m always open to recommendations! And I hope you find that list you made!

      Reply
      • 6. thoughtsofliterarylove  |  July 18, 2013 at 1:08 am

        I’ve read one novel of each and I really like both of them. Very postmodern, if you’re into that type of thing. I might just go check out the 1001 book again from my library and start all over with it. What have been some of your favorite reads from the 1001?

      • 7. dste  |  July 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

        My favorites so far? Jane Eyre, A Modest Proposal, The Yellow Wallpaper, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, Cry the Beloved Country, Agnes Grey, The Woman in White, The Remains of the Day, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Glass Bead Game, The Plot Against America, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Great Expectations, and The Hound of the Baskervilles. All of those got either 5, 4 1/2, or 4 stars from me!

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