1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm a sucker for lists like the one in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. While I realize I'm not going to love every book in there, it's helped me discover quite a few that might have flown under my radar otherwise. Also, if someone recommends a book that's on this list, I'm more likely to pick it up.

I don't tend to choose books because they are on the list, but I love keeping track of ones that I have read from it. At the beginning of every year I sit down with the book (and a good movie) and I go through every page and highlight the titles of books I read the previous year and add a red check mark. It's oddly satisfying for a list maker like me.

I've read 126 books from the list (approximately, I haven't updated my list since January), so I obviously have a long way to go. The completist in me certainly wants to finish the list one day, but I certainly read many, many books that aren't on this list.

How about you guys? How do you feel about TBR lists created by someone else?

If you've never seen the complete list, here it is.

Photos by moi.


Jenners said...

I do kind of like seeing how I "measure up" with lists like this but I don't let them dictate what I read.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

I love the 1001 list. My book club uses is a lot of the time to help us choose which book to read next. Although I don't intend to read each one listed, it appeals to the list-maker in me to use it from time to time.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

That's a great idea for picking book club reads. I'll have to suggest that to mine.

Becky Hill said...

Have you read Nancy' Pearl's Book Lust books? I have read them and do the same-a checkmark beside the ones that I have read. Nancy Pearl is a goddess!

mee said...

I love this list too! It's a perpetual challenge for me to read a certain percentage of books from the list (maybe 10%?). I've only read 31 books so far.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Becky- I have read Pearl's book lust books! Those are another perfect example of an ongoing list I constantly look at for new recommendations.

Mee- Trying to tackle a percentage of the list is a great idea! Doing the whole thing is a bit daunting.

So many good book, so little time.

Arukiyomi - the spreadsheet guy said...

hey there... the link you posted is to the original 2006 edition. Much has changed since then and the list is now in it's third 2010 incarnation with over 300 changes from that first edition list of listology.

Anyway, I guess as you know about the list, you're aware of the 1001 Books spreadsheet and have a copy of the new v4 edition, right?

If not, head over to the spreadsheet page on Arukiyomi.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I definitely was not aware of the spreadsheet. I hadn't seen anything since the 2006 version. Thanks for letting me know!