I have a dirty little secret. I am a pusher. No, not drugs before you ask, books. In fact books, reading lists and the general encouragement of people to read. Here’s some classic literature, it will improve your mind, feed your soul. Going to an auction, here’s a book on current prices for first edition children’s literature. I fully appreciate that many of the people that I give books to or witter on to about my latest read, are not that interested, but maybe it will encourage a few of them to read more. I accept that my young nieces would probably rather have a pepper pig toy for Christmas than a book. Well they will get that, but also a copy of Aesop’s fables. You’ve got to start them young, especially nowadays. I even distribute reading lists to colleagues at work. They say they are interested in receiving a copy of it, although I am not sure how much of that is motivated by their desire for me to shut up and go away. The long, short and tall of it is that, I am a pusher. A book pusher. And I am proud of it.
I have just finished ‘Twenty Three Tales’ by Leo Tolstoy. A collection of short stories on a variety of subjects, aimed at a variety of people. Some were originally intended for children, but I am not sure how suitable they would be considered today. Anyway, it was a good read and now I will move on to the plays of Sophocles. I will definitely alternate that with some genre fiction. James Patterson I think.
Tell me, are you a pusher too?
A couple of years ago I was tagged in a note on facebook that contained a reading list, that I believe was prepared by the BBC. It was 100 books that everybody should have read. According to the BBC most people would not have read more than 6 of these titles. At the time I had read about 15 and have been working, not exclusively I hasten to add, on reading the remainder of the books on the list. Now, I have finally completed the list, and I would thoroughly recommend following this as a means of expanding the scope of your reading.
I have to admit I had a few reservations about some of the books on the list. However, I have enjoyed almost all of the recommended titles and now have a desire to read other titles by many of these authors. Admittedly some of the books have been challenging, for example ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce, challenging, but providing a huge sense of achievement when completed. Some of the entries are a little intimidating also, such as the bible or the complete works of Shakespeare. I am sure that the complete works of Shakespeare and the Harry Potter series should not really be considered single entries
I have included the list here (List1) for those people who, like me, find book lists useful. I find that they give me some structure and provide me with exposure to books and authors that I would not perhaps have read otherwise.
I am always introducing my friends to this list, in the first instance usually as an interesting way to see how many they have read, but ultimately to encourage them to read more. I am very much in favour of people reading more, whether it be real, physical books or electronic kindle books. I am sure I will write more about this in the future.
Now that I have finished that list I have moved on to a much more challenging list, based upon my interpretation of the Great books list. Check out the Great books on Wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_books
I will post later regarding my progress and more about the list, which seems to expand daily as I include more titles by authors where an entry has been identified purely as works.