A comment recently pointed out that if I were to read a book a week with my “339” reading challenge, I would need about 7 years to finish. Given my progress with 1984 this week, it’s probably safe to say that I might even need at least 14 years.
Let’s not even get started on the fact that this wouldn’t include time to fully understand the social-cultural context of each book, literary critiques of the text, or close reading. I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something when I’m reading incredibly influential works with a limited understanding of the period they were written in or the author they were written by.
I don’t mean to use the above lament as an excuse to not read great works of literature, but perhaps to recognize the need to make time to read great works in partnership with literary criticism and history. I believe strong plot and characters can be enjoyed across social, cultural, and historical boundaries. However, a reader would miss the author’s frame from which they viewed the world which might inform a deeper meaning of the work.
That being said, here are two more lists of books I would eventually like to read (there may be some overlap between the lists):