Thursday, June 09, 2011

1001 books to read before I .......what?

A couple of those are actually on the list!

Thanks to Jarmara I have encountered the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die*. It's been an interesting experience, not least because of the whole concept of reading 1001 books.

You do the sums. Assume that you read a book a month. (Yeah, yeah, I know, you read a lot more than that don't you, but bear with me.) 1001 months is a little over 83 years. So assume you read the first one when you're seven. The Little Prince (Saint-Exupery) is on the list and so is The Hobbit so it's not unreasonable to start then. Though you probably wouldn't go straight from that to War and Peace. That will make you 90 when you finish. The average age-at-death in my family is somewhere around 73. Are you telling me that if I start reading the rest of the list I will somehow live long enough to read them?

Because even at one a week it's still going to take nearly 20 years. Actually, I've already read 100 of them (I can't believe that it came out at exactly 100 either!) so that would still need 17 years and 17 weeks to finish the list. Scarily, that would make me just about the right age to die in line with my family.......

So if it's all the same to you, I'm going to read what I want, when I want and not bother with any silly lists!


* That link will take you to someone's blog because the original list is in a book that you first have to BUY! It's got an introduction by Peter Akroyd, which might explain why several of his titles are included.


Sandra Davies said...

Thanks for the link to the 1001 list, and even more for the maths. I consider myself a reasonably prolific reader but only totalled 136 from the list BUT there's load there that I'd consider 'male' books, have never read Don Dellilo for example and several who I've begun and then discarded orr disliked one book so never read any more.
Fascinating way to spend half an hour though - thank you

snafu said...

You both make my score of 70 look poor. Considering the thousands of books I know I have read, it just shows that there are a lot of books to read. I have a rough idea of how many books I have read because I collect books and the total of fiction I have currently comes to about 3000. This has taken a lifetime of reading and it does not take into account the books I have read more than once, the non-fiction books or the ones I have disposed of and forgotten also the magazines, pulp, digest and otherwise.
This means that estimating the total number to be somewhere between 3000 and 4000 books, I seem to have read on average from 50 to 66 books each year.