I first came across the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list sometime in 2007. I remember sitting at my brother’s computer and meticulously combing through it to see what I had read. The results were disappointing. I mean 1001 is a large number of books and, even after an introductory literature course, I had barely made a dint in it. It was that fateful day that I resolved to read them all!
However, one The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Laurence Stern) later that resolution was thrown across the room, next to aforementioned novel. (I exaggerate – I would never throw a book across a room. But if I was going to, Tristram Shandy would be pretty high up on the list.)
It was not until last month when I bought the updated version of 1001 Books for my husband’s birthday that the idea returned. After hours spent copying the updated list into my laptop and with some encouragement from a friend, I embark on this project again, this time with a shiny new blog to hold me to my promise!
Based on the average lifespan of an Australian female (84.35 years) and supposing I began the list when I was 20 (I’m 23 now but I’ve had a head start based on incidental reading and lit subjects) I will have to read a book off the list every 3.34 weeks to finish them all by the time I die. I figure I spend a LOT of time reading and thinking and talking about books, so why not read the books that 158 contributors think are some of the most important in history?
Wish me luck!