Unread books meme

It’s sometimes good to see you aren’t alone in the number of books in your house that you just haven’t gotten around to yet. This meme started this week as is based on the top 100 (105 counting ties) books carrying an “unread” tag by LibraryThing users who use such a tag. The list is as of October 8.

I’m not surprised by the number of so-called “classics” on the list. In fact, I would have anticipated more given the number of people who buy books just because they’re considered classics. I am also somewhat surprised that Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time isn’t on the list.

Everybody does it different but in my iteration I’ve put in bold the books I’ve read, italicized those falling in the “one of these days” category and underlined those books I started and didn’t finish for whatever reason. I’ve also placed an asterisk by a couple works by Dickens because I know I read one or more in high school but just don’t recall which.

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
  2. Anna Karenina
  3. Crime and Punishment
  4. Catch-22
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  6. Wuthering Heights
  7. The Hobbit
  8. Life of Pi
  9. The Name of the Rose
  10. Don Quixote
  11. Moby Dick
  12. Ulysses
  13. Madame Bovary
  14. The Odyssey
  15. Pride and Prejudice
  16. Jane Eyre
  17. A Tale of Two Cities
  18. The Brothers Karamazov
  19. Guns, Germs, and Steel
  20. War and Peace
  21. Vanity Fair
  22. The Time Traveler’s Wife
  23. The Iliad
  24. Emma
  25. The Blind Assassin
  26. The Kite Runner
  27. Mrs. Dalloway
  28. Great Expectations*
  29. American Gods: A Novel
  30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  31. Atlas Shrugged
  32. Reading Lolita in Tehran
  33. Memoirs of a Geisha
  34. Middlesex
  35. Quicksilver
  36. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
  37. The Canterbury Tales
  38. The Historian
  39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  40. Love in the Time of Cholera
  41. Brave New World
  42. The Fountainhead
  43. Foucault’s Pendulum
  44. Middlemarch
  45. Frankenstein
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo
  47. Dracula
  48. A Clockwork Orange
  49. Anansi Boys
  50. The Once and Future King
  51. The Grapes of Wrath
  52. The Poisonwood Bible
  53. 1984
  54. Angels & Demons
  55. The Inferno
  56. The Satanic Verses
  57. Sense and Sensibility
  58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  59. Mansfield Park
  60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  61. To the Lighthouse
  62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  63. Oliver Twist*
  64. Gulliver’s Travels
  65. Les Misérables
  66. The Corrections
  67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  69. Dune
  70. The Prince
  71. The Sound and the Fury
  72. Angela’s Ashes
  73. The God of Small Things
  74. A People’s History of the United States
  75. Cryptonomicon
  76. Neverwhere
  77. A Confederacy of Dunces
  78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
  79. Dubliners
  80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  81. Beloved
  82. Slaughterhouse-five
  83. The Scarlet Letter
  84. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  85. The Mists of Avalon
  86. Oryx and Crake
  87. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  88. Cloud Atlas
  89. The Confusion
  90. Lolita
  91. Persuasion
  92. Northanger Abbey
  93. The Catcher in the Rye
  94. On the Road
  95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  96. Freakonomics
  97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  98. The Aeneid
  99. Watership Down
  100. Gravity’s Rainbow
  101. In Cold Blood
  102. White Teeth
  103. Treasure Island
  104. David Copperfield*
  105. The Three Musketeers

Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired (by passionate devotion to them) produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can peradventure read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.

A. Edward Newton

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1 comment to Unread books meme

  • I list the books after I’ve read them – otherwise there are so many books which would be listed! I wish I could read faster!

    I think people tend to buy classics for the sake of having them – but most of them are quite good. I’m ashamed to say that I only read four of the above books listed