20 June 2012

1,001 Books I Won't Read Before I Die

The amazing thing about owning a book blog is having the ability to complain and assert my unwarranted authority wherever I please. For this reason I am going to challenge the rather infamous list of 1,001 books somebody apparently thinks you should read before you die.

Now I love lists. I make them all the time, especially to keep track of my reading. However, I have some problems with this list. For those of you unfamiliar with this list, it was published in book form some times ago, a list of 1,001 books, each from different time periods in history. These are supposed to be books of an epic proportion that everybody should want to read. There are several additions to this piece of work, where certain titles or added and removed as they, the editors, see fit, which begs to question whether or not these people really have any authority if they can't even come up with a concrete list of books.

In the interest of the project I decided to go over the list, from the 2008 edition, and see just how many of them I have read. Out of ONE-THOUSAND and ONE BOOKS I apparently have read only 21. Twenty One. Yes, I know. Most of them were classics with a couple of modern titles thrown into the mix. So I went through the list again, and only a couple of dozen more were books that I have on my own mental TBR shelf.

Most of the books on the list were books I would never want to read and have no interest in reading. I can't even tell you what some of the titles were. Some of you might be trying this trick with me right now, "But you have to broaden your reading experience and read new things!" Erm, yea, but... no. I believe in people expanding their own shelves rather than having someone else tell them to do so.

So why this rant? Well recently I've come across way too many people thinking that reading this list is a great way to broaden their reading horizons, and a lot more people feeling a bit down and out for not having read as many titles on the list as some people.

I will never tackle this list and whatever titles I will read in the future will be on pure coincidence.

So I bid my farewell with my last words having more weight than before,

Happy reading!


  1. I'm with you on this one. I've read a few more than you on this list, but I am certainly not wedded to it. I have too deep a love for mystery series to give them up for medieval unknowns.

  2. I actually like this list. It's interesting to see what others think are great books that every should read. I challenge myself to read books from the 1,001 list every year. There are quite a few books on the list that I don't want to (and probably won't) read. But I take this list with a grain of salt. It's just another source I use for book recommendations.


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