Should I Read These Books?
Monday, February 1, 2016
I have a list of books (of course, I always have a list of books.) It is a list of books I should read. Books that well-educated, well-read people read. You know the books, the ones that frequently end up on lists of Very Important Books. But they are the books that somehow never get read. I mean to read them, I should read them, but I don't read them. I am listing a few here in the hopes that someone will give me a vital reason to read them and become the well-read person I dream of being. Hey, we all have our dreams.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I have a friend who loves this book. She raved about it to me and couldn't believe I had never read it. So I started it, and after valiant effort I got to something like 47% on my Kindle. And there I have been for the last year. Or maybe more. Some of it I enjoyed. I would be reading merrily along wondering why I hadn't read this years ago and then all of a sudden I would be bogged down in some long involved explanation of something that, at that moment, seemed to have little to do with the story. After the tenth or hundredth or millionth time getting bogged down, I put it down and never picked it up again. Though every time I turn on my Kindle I feel guilty when I see the unfinished line under the book. Should I give it another try?
War and Peace by Victor Hugo. I know it is a new BBC miniseries right now so I see a lot of pictures of it and discussions on various book blogs. I should probably read it some day. It is another one with rave reviews from people. But I keep putting it off. I need someone to convince me of how awesome it is.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. This is another one I have just never finished. I don't know why. In theory, I should like it. But somehow I always quit part way through. And yes, I have quit more than once.
Anything by Virginia Woolf. I read Mrs Dalloway a year or so ago. I am still not sure what I thought of it. Some of the language was beautiful. While I was reading it I didn't really think I liked it, but then it stuck in my head for the longest time afterwards. I should probably give her another try. Can you really call yourself well-read if you haven't read Woolf?
Shakespeare. Well-educated people read Shakespeare, right? I have read Shakespeare, I just haven't read as much as I feel I should have. I enjoy watching his plays be performed but I struggle with reading his works. I think Shakespeare is one of the few things I would rather sit and read with someone else. After all, his works are designed to be spoken. But since my friends would all look at me like I was insane if I suggested sitting around and reading Shakespeare together....yeah, that isn't going to happen.
I know there are a lot more, these are just the ones I could think of right off the top of my head. I did not include books that are viewed as important but that I have zero interest in (Moby Dick, Heart of Darkness, The Catcher in the Rye.)
Do you have any books you really feel you should read but somehow never get around to? Or maybe never manage to finish? I would love to know what you feel you really should be reading. I can add them to my list and have more to feel guilty about!