I used to read a lot. My dad did some things right, and one of them was reading to me every night when I was a kid, and as soon as I wasn’t painfully slow at it, he started buying me books and talking to me about what I thought about them every day. I need to say a big thank you to J.K. Rowling for creating the best thing from my childhood/adolescence and also for beginning my love of books, and I’d also like to thank the universe for not inventing laptops early enough for me to have one from age 5.
I’ve gotten lazy. We live in a mental world full of way too much internet, too much shit on TV (which I for some reason really love to let myself get caught up in), and everything you could ever want to watch is extremely accessible.
I realised the other day while listening to the Great Gatsby on audiobook (my job at the moment is reasonably mindless and at a desk so I can do this) that I hadn’t actually read a book in nearly a year. At least, not a book I hadn’t read before.
I’m proud of myself for not just going back to university to “learn things” when I don’t know what I want to learn (at least not for over 30,000 in student loans), but I really need to keep my brain working and although my passion and dream might lie in good television and film, I need to get back to basics and read some fucking books. School was good for me in the sense that it FORCED me to read, and it’s probably the thing I miss the most about “structured learning”.
So this is my new project. I’ve sourced two lists, one I found on the Guardian and one from the Telegraph. Both are lists of 100 Books Everyone Must Read. The Guardian one is quite cool in the way that it takes the form of a “Consensus Cloud”. Here is a cool photo of me holding it up. I shall start with this.
It has sourced the hundred on the list from: UK’s most borrowed Library Books, Desert Island Discs book choices, Pulitzer Prize Winners (1948-2010), Askmetafilter.com Books Everyone Should Read, World Book Day Poll, Goodreads.com, The Guardian and The Telegraph. I have highlighted the ones I’ve already read. As you can see it’s not very many, ha ha. Even though I like the way this list is presented, TWILIGHT is on there. Luckily for them I’ve already read it.
The other list is big and long and you can read it here.
Obviously there is some ridiculous stuff on there- which I might attempt one day, but I’m sorry to say I probably won’t try anytime soon and definitely wouldn’t write about it here (…. War and Peace, The Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment).
And it begins! Just got given these to start. Will keep updating where I think necessary.
(in case the first picture is confusing, every time I want to feel motivated to learn or remember what is great about reading I think about Stephen Fry)