Sunday, December 05, 2004

My mind is full of holes.

I was chatting today about book lists. I have mentioned before that I dislike buying non-shelfworthy books. This means I use the hell out of whatever library is available. (Alas for the impending end of my institutional library privileges! I have a feeling the local public library of my future residence is less well-stocked than what I am used to.) Returning the library books, however, means they pass out of my life quickly and only leave whatever random scraps catch in my unreliable memory. This makes things especially difficult when I attempt to reflect back and try to make some arbitrary classification, like the best book I have ever read. I have read a lot of great books, but sometimes I forget that I have read them until someone else mentions how fabulous they are.

Some people solve this problem by making book lists or buying all the books they read. Either method gives you a constant reminder of what books you've brought into your life, and the latter makes it easy to be reminded of the pleasures of an old friend. At present I have a mental mishmash that could be compared to a disorganized photo album full of unlabeled pictures of places I've been. A lot of the SF/fantasy has bled together - the literary equivalent of not being able to remember whether that cathedral was in Florence or Pisa.

All of this is a rambling prologue to my own book list. It includes all the books I could think of, off the top of my head, that I've read since starting college. If there's something that you just can't believe isn't on there, leave a comment mocking how poorly read I am. It might be that I have read your book, in which case I will add it to the list. If not, you get to make me admit that I'm an ignoramus.

UPDATE: I have realized that this isn't a list of books I have read since college; I did take courses in which I had to read dozens of books, and I intentionally omitted them from this list. Perhaps this is more a list of pleasure reading, or books I am glad to have chosen to read. Its comprehensiveness has been sacrificed for subjectivity.
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