There will be no book breakdown today, partially because I am still working on Anna Karenina, but mostly because I have 50 books and 52 weeks in a year. A halfway check in just makes sense to me.
So, first off, lets go over the numbers.
I have completed 26 books from the list, 28 if we count extra books for the His Dark Materials Trilogy. This means I have read a total of 6,018 pages. This averages out to 231.5 pages per book (214.9 if you count 28 instead of 26), and 1,003 pages per month. That seems like a really low number to me. I guess I thought I read more on a regular basis. Perhaps I do normally. I’ve never actually checked. Of course, all of these statistics include only books that have been completed and written down, so nothing is included for those I am part way through.
The longest book I have completed was The Way We Live Now, which had 876 pages. (Technically, if we are counting the His Dark Materials trilogy as one book it is longer, with 933 pages.) The shortest book, by a lot, was Alice in Wonderland with only 41 pages.
It would be hard for me to pick a favorite from the list. I’m not good at picking favorites; as soon as I pick a favorite book ever, I am basically giving up on every finding a better book. I refuse to believe I will never fall in love with another book.
I would have to say the book with the best ending was Life of Pi. I did not see that last 10 pages coming, though maybe I should have.
One of the books I was most surprised to enjoy was One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. It didn’t start out like a book I would normally choose, but it grabbed me.
The book I am least likely to ever read again is Ulysses. I don’t care if it is supposed to be a brilliant work of art. That book is a hot mess.
There are several books I will definitely read again: 1984, Frankenstein, The Bell Jar, Pride and Prejudice. Not only did they have great writing, but the stories grabbed me much more than I would expect.
I feel like I am learning a lot about writing, and about publishing. So many of these classic great novels do not have any of the elements current agents and publishers seem to be looking for now. They are too long, or too short. Their topics are off, and their stories might be seen as confusing. More than anything, the first 10 pages (a typical request for potential novels) did not grab me. If I was basing my reading on the first 10 pages alone, I would have put down more than half of these. And let’s be honest, I have before.
Of course, I doubt I would ever write anything that would land me on a list like this, but it still makes me feel a little better. Maybe openings are not my strongest point, but I am not alone.
More than anything, I am getting a little tired. It’s not the reading itself that is exhausting, but the lack of choice in my books. I am slowly filling a new book case with the books I plan to read when this is done, as well as having a nice long queue of books waiting in Oyster. I’m itching to just read a book simply because it appeals to me, not because it is on a master list that someone thinks everyone should read at some point in their life. I thought this would be easier on me. Sure I would read these books within a year, but I figured I would have plenty of time to read other books as well. I have so much more out there that I want to read, and I am tired of being chained to a list. Six months in, I’m not backing down now, but I can’t help but wish I was done.
As I am still chained to a list, tune in again soon for the next book, Anna Karenina.
Happy Reading Everyone!