The list has been discussed at length. The reasons why the entire catalog of one author is listed while seemingly obvious picks have been left off altogether. The validity of the choices, the unfairness of the selections. It's been covered everywhere. I don't need to do that here. And if this is untimely (because the really important blogs already discussed this days ago), I use Tahiti as my shield, my I'm so sorry I'm behind a few weeks excuse.
But. Having said that. I feel it would be remiss to not at least point out the obvious. Or at least, obvious to me.
Sweet Jesus. Yes. Jesus. After perusing the list and dutifully tallying up those books I've read (a meager 234), I found myself not marveling at what I've read, but what I've not read. How can it be that I've simply not gotten to so many basic, you must read this or else books? What have I been doing with my time? Well, reading. And writing. More so than the average bear I'm guessing. And yet, 767 books to go.
After a brief panic and a mild what- is-it-all-for flailing about, I accepted this lot. Fine. Fine. So I've not read all I should have read (I hate should reading!) So I'm not the brilliant, well-read Miss Counterbalance I perceived myself to be. Not to worry. Because, you see, I can read these books now. They are still available. They are mine for the taking. The reading.
Once again calm, once again methodical with my spreadsheet, I set about making a plan. Where to start? What to read first? 2000s? Or move it all the way back to the 1700s? And then, just for kicks, I caught myself wondering how long it would take to read all of these books while, of course, including all the new books that will come out along the way. And, of course, the main reason I'm here at all, the writing. Fine. Good. So let's factor that in. Let's add it up. Let's make a plan.
Yes. Let's add that up indeed. If I read only one of the 767 remaining books a week, just one, it would take me 15 years to complete my calm, rational little plan.
And so, I bid adieu to the 1001 Books that you must read before you die until you realize you won't live long enough to read them all list. I say adios to the notion of lists at all. I hate Should reading and I hate List reading. I'll read what I want, when I want, where I want.
(And I might peek at the list now and then for pointers.)
That is all.