I have 124 books, and I haven’t read at least 25 of them.
And I keep buying more. Today it was George Eliot’s ‘Middlemarch’ and a collection of Whitman poems. That’s what I do when I feel like shit: buy books.
My shelves are filled with classic literature and also ‘Harry Potter’ and Tolkien. The classics aren’t the easiest to read, but I like a challenge, and I like the idea of joining in this history by celebrating the stories that we have passed down through the generations and across countries, cultures and seas.
I look at my shelves and think, “I really need to take another crack at ‘War and Peace'” and I really want to read ‘The Odyssey.’
Some of these books are collections, like the complete work of William Shakespeare ($8 at Barnes & Noble!) and a book of four Jane Austen Novels.
But I wasn’t reading too many of these classics and I keep buying or asking for more books for holidays and my birthday.
Enough. I made a list, and it’s intimidating and intense. It’s also the only thing that’s going to make me accountable for reading them, which is why I’m posting this here.
I have no idea how long this list will take. Considering Middlemarch is nearly 800 pages, I can speculate it’ll take quite a while even though I am a fast reader.
Another thing: I have to read one poem a day. I have a book of Robert Frost poems, and of course, Leaves of Grass, and there are tons of poems available for free online. Time to dive into Emily Dickinson, Jack Gilbert and Maya Angelou.
Finally, I want to recognize this reading list is very male and very white and very western. Recently, I have been reading books by women authors (lots of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Elizabeth Gilbert), but these are the books I have, so these are the books I’m starting with. After I tackle this list, I’m going to read books by more contemporary American authors including Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. I want to read more books by women and especially women of color, so I’m taking suggestions! I’m looking for classics and literature rather than newer fiction that hasn’t made quite a historic splash.
Wish me luck. I may never see any of you for eight years.