As I recently posted in Facebook, one of my resolutions this year is to read and finish one hundred books. One hundred books because I am not—and you may be surprised to hear this—as well-read as I could possibly be. This probably owes to my rather long literary hiatus back in my nursing days (yes, yes, I used to be a nurse, but it was a past life I don’t intend to revisit).
Digression aside, here are my conditions:
- They don’t have to be critically acclaimed books. It being touted as “good” doesn’t always mean I’ll enjoy it, and vice-versa.
- I will, however, try to ensure that a lot of these are the classics I’ve missed out on or haven’t finished in their complete form for one reason or another.
- I’ll try to keep the mix eclectic. There might be some genres I’ll visit less than others—personal preference and all that.
- I’ll post one memorable quote after each book I complete. I draw the line at reviews, though I might do so sporadically.
- After completing the magic one hundred, I owe myself a literary tattoo.
Why am I doing this? I feel my literary education has been shamefully lacking, but most shameful of all is not doing much to remedy that. We all have precious little in terms of years in this world, and time not spent thoroughly examining the beauty of it is wasted time. Granted, we all have our own ideas of beauty. Words when properly weaved is one of mine.
Also this—I spend a lot of my time reading messed-up attempts at literature because . . . well, because that’s my day job. And you can never discount the amount of influence reading material has on you. You are what you read. The rhythm, the patterns of the words—you may not be conscious of it, but they become your rhythms, your patterns. Often you’ll find authors criticised for “imitating” their idols. It is not imitation; it’s inevitable. You write what you read. You become what you read.
And I don’t want to turn into a bad book. There are enough of those. This will help in terms of balance.
I’ll post my list here. You’re all welcome to join me; let’s celebrate our progress together.
UPDATE: Here, it has begun:
1. The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett
2. Coriolanus – William Shakespeare
3. Odd and the Frost Giants – Neil Gaiman