Monday, April 19, 2010


My name is Rachel. When I was younger I was an avid reader. My school would often have a contest to see who could log the most reading minutes or who could read the most books. I was always among the top students in those contests, I even have a nifty plastic statue to prove it. Now that I'm grown and have children, a husband, a house to clean and am trying to finish my Bachelors degree I find that I rarely read anymore unless it's expressly required for one of my classes. Of course as a culinary student it's rarely required of me to read anything outside of a textbook or cookbook.

I recently started taking an english class  for one of my general ed credits and it reawakened my love of reading. I remembered a goal I made back in high school. I wanted to read all the classics, the books that everyone is 'supposed' to read. I decided to finally attempt that goal but needed a more concrete goal to finish. I work best when I have a list that I could check off as I go. It enables me to mark my progress and gives me a finish line to work towards. I cam across the book 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and decided that, while it is a lofty and possibly unattainable goal, it would probably be fun to give it a go. I managed to download a spreadsheet even that lists the books and allows me to check them off as I go. 

I am ashamed to admit that I was only to able to check off 7 books as having already read, most of which I read way back in high school. So I only have 994 books left to read. Wow! That's not daunting at all is it? I am a quick reader but this is still feeling like a decade long least. Good thing I'm only 27, God willing, I should have enough time to finish it.


Jump_Raven said...

I just went through the list to see how many I have seen and it came out to be 41. I couldn't believe it. Must have been my penchant for classics and great science fiction when I was younger.

You're lucky Rachel. They're are some good books on there. I can't wait to hear about Max Havelaar and Berlin Alexanderplatz. If you haven't read A Clockwork Orange, make sure you read the copy with all 21 chapters. It will really make you appreciate Kubrick's adaptation.

Reading Rachel said...

I will make sure to do that, thanks. I couldn't believe I could only check off 7. I read a ton in high school but apparently nothing that really mattered. I do think that I read a few more than that but I couldn't remember enough of them so I figured they were worth a re-read.

Jump_Raven said...

Rachel, if there is one thing I have learned from working through a list similar to this, but for film, is that there is a lot of great stuff that isn't on these lists so don't discount the reading you did in high school. In fact, you'll probably find that some of the books on the list really stink, but that's part of the fun of reading them. That way you can bust the myth that the book is really a classic.

Reading Rachel said...

Yeah, I'm sure there are a handful that will be incredible hard to plow through. One of the books on the list that I've already read was Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. I read it in high school and HATED it. It's a small book and it took me so long to get through it because I just had zero desire to finish it. I'm just hoping that there are more good than bad.

Jump_Raven said...

The really good ones and the promise of another good one make going through the rest worth it.

Whitney said...

What?! They left off Jane Austen's Persuasion and Northanger Abbey? That just seems inconceivable to me.

I've only read a handful of the books on the list but there are some great ones out there. Good luck with your project!

Reading Rachel said...

Thanks for stopping by! I do believe that there were more Jane Austen on the previous versions of the list but they were taking off to make room for newer books I think.

I am looking forward to the ones still on the list because, and I hate to admit this because they'll make me turn in my girl card, I've never read anything by Jane Austen. I've never even seen the movies.

Of course, this is sort of the reason behind starting this project. To get myself to finally read all these books I've been putting off forever.

Carin said...

Oh, you have some wonderful books to look forward to! I have read 101 of the 1001 (realized I read 2 more this year, without realizing it! yay!) Good luck.

Related Posts with Thumbnails