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On Not Reading Books September 19, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, readers, Reading, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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I was just checking out the Library’s Twitter site (brilliantly maintained by our newest Reference Librarian, Britta Gregor), where I encountered a link to the Times of London and a list of “10 Books Not to Read before You Die.”  

Well.  I knew before I got there that I was going to encounter Ulysses by James Joyce.  It has always been a matter of some pride for me that I plowed through it in three weeks as an undergraduate at the University of Florida.  (This was in Brandon Kershner’s wonderful Modern English Novel course.)  It isn’t easy and when people tell me they are thinking about reading it, I always suggest they try Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which gives you a bit of the effect but is much more readable. 

I discovered that I had in fact read five of the books on the list in full – and you can read about my adventures with Proust elsewhere in this blog – and liked some of them very much.

But this amusing article does make a good point, which is that you don’t need to be a slave to the experts.  I don’t happen to agree with Mr. Wilson about Pride and Prejudice, but based on his review, I don’t plan to read The Dice Man anytime soon. 

Having said that, I personally enjoy some of those “must read, must see, must hear” lists very much.  To find some of them in our library catalog, click here.

Happy Reading!

The Book Goddess

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