Sunday, July 25, 2010

Only 662 Books to Go!

I am a person who likes to have goals.

Last Christmas, I was told of a marvelous book called 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. I was invited to join a bookgroup that is attempting to read all 1001 books.

Naturally, I joined this group. I am, after all, a children's librarian. And how hard could it be to read a few children's books, right?

Harder than one might think, it turns out. The rascally scoundrels...sorry, rather that is, the wise scholars, who devised this list of children's books cleverly broke the books up into five categories of books, by ages, with 0-3, 3+, 5+, 8+, and 12+. The easier books, what we librarians call picture books, comprise less than half the list. And look at some of the books these quacks...oops, sorry again, that is, erudite critics, have classified as children's books: Fahrenheit 451...Gulliver's Travels...The Hound of the Baskervilles...To Kill a Mockingbird...The Arabian Nights....A lot of these are well over 500 pages....

I was thrilled, then, to hit 339 books read from this list. That's a little over 1/3 of the way through.

I can see myself slowing down now that I've read most of the shorter books. Also, these books are from all over the world. I've been finding it very difficult to obtain copies of books published outside the US.

I can see myself soon at a point where I am only finishing a book a week. At that rate...let's see...662 books to go...a book a week...52 weeks in a year...Only twelve years and nine months! That's doable.

I'm quite certain that I still have at least twelve years and nine months before I grow up.


  1. Anybody who thinks Gulliver's Travels is a children's book is a little goofy if you ask me.

  2. Excellent. Yes, confirmation. Agreed. Goofy.

    I dare not mention that Twilight (yes, Twilight) is on the list. Eek.

  3. Sounds like a fun project and a perfect one for a children's librarian such as yourself. I bet you will find many treasures on this list of 1001 and I look forward to hearing about them.

  4. I just recently saw this book and immediately put in on my wishlist (maybe a Christmas present?)

    I am not sure that I would set the goal for reading all 1001 books, but I sure look forward to reading some old favorites, and being introduced to some new ones.

    LOVE the collection of weekly reads - very impressive!

  5. You're doing great hitting the 1/3 mark. Keep it up! What did you think of the Aimee Bender book?

  6. Loved the Aimee Bender book. I hope everyone will read it. I hope everyone will love it as much as I did.

  7. What a fun project! Have you tried the Book Depository for the books that are published outside the US?

  8. Awesome goal and great work so far. Congratulations.
    I would like to look at that book for my library at school.

  9. +JMJ+

    Congratulations on getting that far!

    And I had to laugh at the novels considered appropriate for children. For young adults, maybe, but teens are supposed to be in a separate category nowadays, right?

    This reminds me of the book The Way to Write for Children by Joan Aiken. From the examples she uses, she seems to consider Charles Dickens' entire body of work to be "children's books"--but then again, during the Victorian era, children and adults were pretty much reading the same material, aye?

    Good luck with the rest of your list! =)

  10. What a fantastic effort Debbie. At least you can start counting down books to go now, that must feel wonderful. I'm definitely still counting forwards (I've read 130+, I haven't checked for a little while). It's so great to see your wonderful level of enthusiasm for the quest. I KNOW we'll finish it. And one day, we'll be grown ups......

  11. Forgot to comment on the books. Dogger was one of Lachlan's favourite books when he was a toddler, we got that out from the library repeatedly, and read it over and over. We've also read Stig of the Dump, which I thought was rather profoudnly British. I enjoyed it for it's more imaginative parts. Lachlan didn't ever really take to it from what I remember. I see you've got a few Australian books there this time as well, glad to see that you could find some. I've read Drac and the Gremlin, and some other Tohby Riddle books, but not that one.

  12. Holy crap! I'd say you're off to a fantastic start, though. If it were me, I'd be on #6 or something. Oy!

  13. I've finally resorted to ILL for some of the books that are hard to find here in the US. I've actually hit the wall with two of the books using ILL. Not sure what to do next. I will check into the Book Depository and I welcome any other ideas about how to procure these.

  14. What two books are you having trouble finding? Are they Australian ones?

  15. I have three that I either cannot obtain through ILL or cannot buy at a reasonable price are:

    Little Spook's Baby Sister by Inger Sandberg (Swedish)

    Alvin Says Good Night by Ulf Lofgren (Swedish)

    Julian the Rabbit by Nicoletta Costa (Itothalian)

    I think I can obtain an Alvin book through ILL if I try to get a different book from the series.

    I found a place in England where I can buy the other two as used books for about fifteen Euros (including shipping) each.

  16. Ah, I think the scandinavian ones will be hard for all of us to track down. I'm rather peeved that with all the great still in print books out there, they had to include so many out of print books. I realise that they're being inclusive, and that's good, but let's make it doable too.

  17. Dogger has a special place in my bookshelf.
    I came across it as set text when I was a teaching assistant. I loved it and bought a copy for my eldest children. We shared it and passed it on. Have now got another copy for my youngest.

  18. I didn't even know there was a children's books version of the 1001 list. I started working my way through the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die...but the incredibly slow progression through the list is a little demoralising!

  19. Yes, I'm working on a few grownup lists, too. But, for this year, I'm focusing on the children's list.

  20. The odd thing about these 1001 lists are that I believe they change over time. After 12 years and 9 months you may have a couple of more years to go! :)

    Eclectic Indulgence


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