I'm celebrating today. I've gone over the hump. I have just read my 502nd, 503rd, and 504th books on the list, the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
I'm feeling very happy. Over halfway through the list. And I still have a lot of years before I grow up.
Let me just take a moment to relish this moment: I'm more than halfway through the list.
(Pausing to contemplate achievement)
I probably shouldn't do this, yes, I should just continue to enjoy this Very Happy Feeling, but my logical brain demands that I look a little closer at that list.
Here is the breakdown.
The books are divided into five age groups:
0-3 years old...37 books (I've read 34, or 92%)
3+ years old...125 books (I've read 111, or 90%)
5+ years old...220 books (I've read 155, or 71%)
8+ years old...349 books (I've read 133, or 38%)
12+ years old...270 books (I've read 71, or 26%)
Do you see the disturbing pattern I've found? I've read most of the picture books (90% or so). That's good, but these are the shorter books, traditionally coming in at a mere thirty-six pages, and most of that covered with beautiful pictures, with a tiny bit of text. For the longer books, the chapter books, my percentages aren't so high, around 43%. And there are a lot more long books (839) compared to the short books (162).
Further, the list for 12+ includes such intimidating books as Robinson Crusoe and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. And I haven't even taken a look at Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhui by Rafael Sanchez Ferlosio, but, oh my, doesn't that sound like a challenging read!
And, if I really want a Reality Smack, I can think about how difficult (impossible?) it may be to locate some of these books. It isn't that I haven't read the picture books left on my list because I haven't had time to read them; no, these books just aren't widely available in the US.
But, can I do it? Can I read them all? Shall I walk on, continuing to read a few books a month, led in my choices by the solidarity of a Yahoo group? Yes, I think I shall. Wish me well in my endeavor.