My reading tastes have always been retro. In my youth I was reading Jack London and Marguerite Henry while others were reading R.L. Stine. Actually, I owned several of the Fear Street books, but he’s the only author from that time to come to mind. I rarely read new releases or books that are only a few years old. I guess it goes without saying that those are by my favourite authors who I need to read sooner than later. The majority of my contemporary reading is of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. I love classic literature so tend to read fiction and mysteries from before the 1950’s.
It’s amusing to see what I’ve read from the literary critics’ 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. The only book I’ve read from the list’s small, young 21st century section is Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, and that was due to a friend adamantly putting it in my hands. It was really good and I will read more by Waters, after I read more by Robert Heinlein, Wilkie Collins, and others whose works I’ve been wanting to deeply explore. From the list, I’ve read 21 from the 1900’s, 20 from the 1800’s, and 3 from before the 1700’s. I’m almost finished with Moby Dick so that will be 21, and later this summer, Don Quixote will make the fourth, bringing my total to 47.
It’s interesting to see what made the “must read” list, which I now have on site thanks to Uncertain Principles. I’m somewhat surprised that Goethe’s Faust didn’t make the cut and am intrigued as to why Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and the Sorrows of Young Werther did. Many of the books or authors have been in my reading pile before the list was published, others I’m now curious about, and some I have no inclination to read at this time. With the handy-dandy spreadsheet created by Arukiyomi I can keep track of what I’ve read and want to read from the 1001 books and form my own conclusions about what the 100 or so literary critics deemed must-worthy.
I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but do the genres you read vary according to the time in which they were written? Are you keeping a list of what you’ve read from among the 1001 books? Why or why not? And as asked by BTT:
“Do you prefer reading current books? Or older ones? Or outright old ones? (As in, yes, there’s a difference between a book from 10 years ago and, say, Charles Dickens or Plato.)”