The More I Read, The More They Pull Me In

imagesThere are just way too many books out there that are flashing big bright “Read Me!” signs. I have dedicated myself to going back for those classics and well-received contemporary books that have escaped my reading lists (or disappeared under a covering of dust and forgetfulness). But then I hear about a new and exciting title and my urgency juices start to flow causing Henry James and Émile Zola to slide back behind Clarissa and The Good Soldier Svejk.

Is there a computer algorithm available which calculates the value of literature against the estimated time remaining and generates the optimal prioritized reading list?

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Reading Has Been Very Very Good To Me

download.jpgI have been reading so many good books lately: some are good stories but not that great and some are time-honored classics. My list of shame still has dozens of books I am embarrassed to have not read but I have chipped away a few. To this end I am dedicating a few titles each month to the big fat classics I want to read before I die: authors such as Henry James, Charles Dickens, and Alexander Dumas.

But that leaves plenty of room for more contemporary books that have caught my fancy or have been general appraised as being of high value. Considering the number of books I read, I’m very lucky to be pleasantly surprised by most, even if not succumbing to cartwheels and fireworks. Interestingly, many of my meh reads are those books that have been hyped in the press (literary or not). Is this a factor of my disappointment in almost anything found on the front table at Barnes and Noble, or is the current state of literate writing on the downslope?

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