Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Unread Library

When it comes to books, I have very little willpower. I love everything about them: the covers, the pages, the words, the fonts, how a book from the 50s or 60s looks nothing like a modern one, and of course, the actual stories. Getting lost in a book is a lifeline for me. A refuge from the world, from things that drain me, and from technology. It is ironic to me that technology and media are part of my top five favorite things to do, and also my current livelihood, and yet I love leaving it behind for a world of ink and paper.

That being said, I have amassed an ever expanding library - primarily made up of thrifted and vintage books (because hey, I'm working with a budget!). I love perusing the shelves at Goodwill and Savers looking for a classic I've never read, a great cover to a book I already love, the occasional chance book that may end up being a keeper (or not), and anything in between. But lately, I've noticed I have a stack of books marked "to read" that grows faster than I can read them. I also realized that the money I'm pouring into this pile can be used for much more impact than my library. So I've committed to not buying another book until I read every last unread book. And the money I would normally spend is being put away (it's not much, but it's something) into a savings account for a yet-to-be-revealed project that will impact many lives.

All these thoughts had started stirring in my heart and head when I read a post on a blog I follow, Pancakes & French Fries, about The Unread Library. This post was a confirmation and encouragement to me, so I decided to follow suit with my progress. Here is My Unread Library; as I finish a book, I will update the list.

1. Aeneid, The | Virgil
2. Candide | Voltaire
3. Cannery Row | John Steinbeck
4. Christmas Carol, A | Charles Dickens
5. David Copperfield | Charles Dickens
6. Dombey & Son | Charles Dickens
7. Dubliners | James Joyce
8. Great Short Works of Herman Melville, The | Herman Melville
9. How to Read Literature Like a Professor | Thomas Foster
10. Kidnapped | Robert Louis Stevenson
11. Lady Susan | Jane Austen
12. Mansfield Park | Jane Austen
13. Moby Dick | Herman Melville
14. Moon is Down, The | John Steinbeck
15. Much Ado About Nothing | William Shakespeare
16. Nick Adams Stories, The | Ernest Hemingway
17. Oliver Twist | Charles Dickens
18. Othello | William Shakespeare
19. Painted Bird, The | Jerzy Kosinski
20. Pearl, The | John Steinbeck
21. Pilgrim's Progress, The | John Bunyan
22. Red Pony, The | John Steinbeck
23. Robinson Crusoe | Daniel Defore
24. Silmarillion, The | JRR Tolkien
25. Uncle Tom's Cabin | Harriet Beecher Stowe
26. War of the Worlds, The | HG Wells

And there you have it.

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