When I was in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month, we stumbled upon a little bookshop. It wasn’t anything special, just a basic bookshop, with an average selection of new books and book related knickknacks. I saw several books I would have loved to have bought, if not for the issue of getting them home somehow, as well as a collection of mugs with book vintage looking book covers printed on them that would have looked amazing on my shelf (or filled with my coffee). In the end I walked out with a few buttons, a bookmark, and a nostalgic feeling over actual bookshops that sell books in a language I read.
The bookmark was a fun little metal sheet with a list of 50 books to read before you die. I’d seen the list before, and thought it would be fun to have a version to carry around with me. My daughter, Big One, also loved it and decided to get a copy for herself as well. Naturally, it sparked a conversation between myself and my husband as to how many of the books we had read before. Counting only the listed ones I was certain I had read, in school or out, I had only read twelve books on the list, with six I was pretty sure I might have.
Realizing how many books I hadn’t read I decided to make it a goal to read every book on that list, even the ones I thought I might have read at some point. Needing a new reading challenge for the blog, it seemed like a good idea to just throw the two of them together. So, now I bring you……
Starting August 1, I will set out to read all of the books on this list before the end of one year. I know, fifty books in one year, sounds easy, and it is, but a one year challenge will allow for many things including having a life, and searching for copies of the books. Additionally, it is not actually fifty books, it is sixty books. Three books listed are actually series, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Harry Potter Series, and His Dark Materials Trilogy (3+7+3= 13 books for the price of three, or, ten additional books). Sixty books in one year is still completely doable, but hopefully challenging enough to keep things interesting. Some of these will be re-reads, and some will be classics I will be reading for the first time. Who knows, maybe I’ll walk out with a few new favorites.
I’m honestly not certain who created this list originally, or what their criteria was, but I’m still going with it. I’m hoping to learn more about what makes a book absolutely vital and stand the test of time, and maybe get a few tricks I can add to my own writing.
I have a few rules, but I plan to keep it simple.
1) Books can be read, or listened to as unabridged audiobooks, but no movie substitutions.
2) Books do not need to be read in any special order, I can pick whichever one I feel like reading.
3) All books need to be read by July 31, 2015
4) I will check-in once a week to share my progress, tell how I am enjoying the book, and maybe share little things I have learned. I’m planning on sticking to Thursdays, but I will give myself the flexibility to change the date in extenuating circumstances.
5) I can beg, buy, or borrow books, in either paper, CD or digital format, as long as it is unabridged.
6) I am giving an option to opt out of one book, but my decision is not made yet. I’m not a religious person, and have already read the bible, so I am leaving myself the option of excluding this one from the list. I know it is kind of cheating, but I am having it as part of the rules from the beginning so I can decide later if I feel like reading it again. No other books will be allowed to be skipped.
I have no plans for a punishment if I break the rules, but maybe if I break them significantly I will have to allow my readers to select a suitable sentence to fit my crime.
Wish me luck everyone! If anyone wants to read along, I will be starting with 1984, by George Orwell. It is ready to go tomorrow when my challenge begins. Time for a year of (hopefully) good reading.