If you have ever had any length of a conversation with me, seen me in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, passed by me while my kids are playing in the park, sat next to me at a stop light, or peered in my bedroom window at night (creeper!), you probably know that I love to read. I always bring a book with me wherever I go just in case I have a spare second to read. I’ve read books for school (high school, college, and graduate school) and I’ve read countless books for pleasure. Then I began teaching English and started reading books for work. I’ve lost count of the books I’ve read. But when talking with a fellow bibliophile about our literary conquests I’ve often gotten the response, “I can’t believe you’ve never read that!”.
As a voracious reader and former English teacher, I feel a responsibility to have read every notable book out there. Why is that? Should I have read Moby Dick instead of The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club? Should I have read Jane Austen instead of rereading the entire Harry Potter series three times? I want to say no, you should always read what you want, but I also feel a responsibility to explore the world of literature…good, quality, long-lasting literature. Sure I can get through Hunger Games: Catching Fire in a weekend, but The Bronte sisters will last forever.
I think it’s a balance. Reading is reading. As long as you’re reading something you’re gaining new perspectives, learning new words and increasing your reading fluency. But you should also challenge yourself as a reader. Read something new. Read something about a different culture. Read something you’ve always wanted to read, but never have. Read something just so you can say you read it.
I sometimes feel shame that I haven’t read a notable classic or blockbuster novel that everyone and their brother has read. There are certain books that I feel I should have read. Then I realize…who cares! Reading is something that I love. It’s something I do for myself; not to be part of some elite group of people who read all 1,037 pages of Gone with the Wind.
Here are some popular and/or classic books that I’ve never read. Maybe someday…
Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments. No book-shaming, please.
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