Well-read. And not at all competitive.

John August got 38, while the delightful Helen Smith clocks in at sixty-odd (I can’t remember the exact number) of the 1,001 books you should read before you die.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I come in somewhere between 99 and 103. The extra four being books I remember starting, but can’t recall actually getting to the end of.

So I guess they couldn’t have been all that.

15 responses to “Well-read. And not at all competitive.”

  1. I think I said I got 172! It still seems a shamefully small number – out of 1001.

    Was it 172? Don’t make me go back and count them all. It makes me seem needy… I’m embarrassed to have even looked at the list the first time.

  2. Something around 194 (I knew all those Jane Austens would pay off). And I’ve started but not finished another ten, I think.

  3. Christ. I never would have said I was competitive but you’ve awakened a monster in me – 224.

    And yes, I did read John August’s original post and the whole point about it was that you don’t need to have read too many on the list to make it as a successful screenwriter.

    And no, of course it’s not definitive – mostly American, English and French writers. Culturally biased and all that.

    Oh my God what have you made me do? Must get back to work. The shame of it all…

  4. Hmmm… only a paltry 15 read all the way to the end, I’m afraid. Many more started and abandoned. Clearly they should have tried to hold my interest harder.

    I was at something of a disadvantage with that list, which seems to be 50% Ian McEwan, who’s work I tend to find a big load of hairy bollocks.

  5. I generally care about novels so little that I couldn’t even be bothered to LOOK at the list. Clearly, I win.

    Piers: After tomorrow night’s Doctor Who, you’ll seem positively Nostradamus-esque…

  6. 87 for me, including a few cheeky inclusions of books I started but never finished.

    Would’ve been much lower were I not a fan of Paul Auster and Kurt Vonnegut.

  7. I take back what I said yesterday about not caring about novels. I was in a funny mood. I do care about them – just never get a chance to read any!

  8. 127. Respectable but not spectacular, and a good one-third of that number probably comes from having been an Eng Lit student — but then I’ve always felt that the great value in that was being nudged into reading stuff I might otherwise have been scared off by.

    All such lists are good pub-chat bollocks, at heart. I’ve read masses of deeply formative stuff that would never get anywhere near this one.

  9. Yeah. But I do like a nice bit of pub-chat bollocks. 🙂

    They’re also good to remind yourself “Ooh, I always really meant to read/watch/experience that and never got round to it.”

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