Reading list complete


A little under three years ago I formally compiled myself a reading list of all the books that I had been recommended or thought I really should read. I came up with a hundred or so, and began the challenge.

Along the way I picked up a hundred or so more. New books were recommended to be, often by the bookings that I was reading. A times my list actually grew faster than I should shrink it. I reviewed or commented on almost all of them on my blog.

Now though, I’m done! After 33 month’s hard work, I’ve got through them all. I never have to read again!

I probably will of course. In fact, I’ve already made a start on a Dirk Gently novel that I made a half-hearted attempt to read a decade ago and never really finished. No doubt my list will soon begin filling up again, but for now I am going to celebrate the victory.

This seems an appropriate time for some mildly interesting reflections.

I am not really a big reader. In fact I would go so far as to say that I do not enjoy reading. It’s feels like a big statement to make, especially given my social circle is mostly well educated. It feels a bit like admitting to being a smoker. My dirty habit of not reading.

Of course, I actually do read. But do I do it for for pleasure, or because I am a victim of peer pressure, reading because society expects me to read and because I do not want to be labelled as stupid. As peer pressure goes, being compelled to improve oneself by reading is probably one of the better ones, but I take great pride in regularly failing to conform.

In many ways, reading feels like a habit, or something you have to get into. I remember when we first got Sky One. At the time, the channel showed a lot of Star Trek. I wasn’t that interested in Star Trek at the time, but I told myself I wasn’t missing several hours of science fiction every day, so I forced myself to watch it until I liked it. Now I love Star Trek. But you need that initial time to get to know the characters, understand the universe, and fall in love with the premise. Even Discworld requires some buy-in time.

I suspect that reading in general may be the same. I feel much more favourable about it now that I read on a regular basis, then I did when I read a book occasionally.

I now find Waterstones a trap. I used to happily browse their shelves, occasionally buying a book on computing. Now I go in there and see all these books that I feel I should read, even though I know I will never be able to read most of them. In some ways, it makes me feel a tinge of sadness that there is so much great literature out there that one human being can only hope to read a small portion of it.

I am firmly sold on the idea of ebooks. I was never a hold-out for physical books anyway, but the advantages of electronic formats are many. I still buy plenty of physical books, especially cookbooks or music books, but mostly I buy ebooks.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 at 10:46 am and is filed under Life, Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.