Yesterday, at the Top 25 trivia tournament (where we did not win, but finished a perfectly respectable 7th place), one of the questions referenced The 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die. Today, The Guy I Am Currently Dating sent me a list of these books…and of course, I was curious to see how many I’d read. The answer? Far fewer than I’d imagined, and I generally consider myself a well-read, well-educated person.
So, it seems that I have a brand-new, exceptionally-long term project to work on! I am going to attempt to read 50 of the books I haven’t read, as well as to see 50 of the movies I haven’t seen, from the “Before You Die” lists. While I easily read 50 books and likely see 50 movies a year, the challenge in this task lies in the fact that my entertainment consumption habits aren’t always exactly along the high-brow, “classic” lines. Sadly, they’re more likely to be stories about glittery teenage vampires, socially-relevant-but-predictible novels by the likes of Jodi Picoult, an hour here and there with Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and television shows about strangers eating rice for 30 days in an attempt to win a million dollars, and unnaturally orange 20-somethings with anger management issues.
In attempting to cross off 50 memorable works from these lists each year, it’s more of an attempt at broadening my horizons and turning my addiction to all things media-related a little bit back toward the cultural, enlightening, and artistic, rather than a genuine belief that I’ll ever finish the list. (At 50 a year, it would take me almost 20 years to complete these lists; plus, since new additions show up on the list, it is truly a lifetime project…provided my lifetime expands that far into the future. Either way, my attention span rarely covers a year, much less a lifetime. ;P)
So, there we are. I am going to read 50 classic novels and watch 50 classic films this year—and, of course, share them all with you. I’m not sure if this will cut down on my occasional feelings of “There’s nothing interesting to do”, or just turn me into an introvert, but it’ll be an interesting experiment and new goal for 2011.
I’ve included both lists on the site (links on the right hand side), along with a running tally of those I’ve read/watched. Anyone want to play along for the next year, and increase your own “classics” knowledge?