I’ve only read 126 books. Or at least, that’s what I’m told.
So, I took a quiz. It was a fun quiz, really. It’s a list of the top thousand books according to reviews on Goodreads. Apparently I am not in-step with society.
Honestly, it doesn’t overly surprise me that I didn’t get a majority of the books. Really, I’m surprised I got as many as I did! All the kids’ books helped.
But I think I’m a bit of an odd reader. I’ve found that, in general, if a book is lauded as a “best seller,” I rarely have interest in it. Now, it’s not that I’m “anti-popularity.” Heck, I read Twilight and found the review of a friend to be accurate: Literary crack. You know it’s bad for you, but you just keep on reading.
But for the most part, the opinions of the masses don’t sway my reading habits. And now that I’ve been doing more and more writing and networking with other authors, well, I want to read their stuff. For instance, this week I finished reading Under Her Black Wings, a horror anthology written by women, featuring female monsters. Why did I read it? Well, I bought it because I have a friend who was published in it. (I found most of the stories to be very engaging and worth the time!)
What does that mean for my reading list?
It means that more and more, I’m wandering from best sellers and poking among the lesser-known authors. I’m finding a lot of quality stuff, too. Just because something isn’t known doesn’t mean it’s not good.
What’s funny is that even with me spending more time among the indies, I’m also picking up older books as well. Last week I finished The Log of a Cowboy, an autobiography originally published in 1903. Last year I discovered I enjoyed reading westerns, so I’m trying to add in some of that genre. This certainly counted, and gave me plenty of ideas for further stories!
So the list of a thousand books… didn’t have a lot for me. It doesn’t reflect what I’ve been reading, even though I have been reading plenty.
And as I stare at that list, I wonder: Would I change that at all?
There’s a reason there are best seller lists. If a zillion people enjoy something, well, there’s a fair chance I might as well. As long as I don’t enjoy something just because others like it, it can be useful to find out what others like. Heck, that’s the entire basis of the Amazon algorithms, aren’t they? “People who bought this also bought…”
And so this list of a thousand books tells you exactly what it’s based off of: the number of ratings on Goodreads. It’s not hiding where it found its rankings.
If I put a list of the thousand books that have most affected me, I wonder what would be on that list? Could I even list a thousand books that have affected me?
If I ever put a list together like that, I can tell you one thing: I bet it’d be a fairly unique list, filled with science fiction and fantasy and nautical stories and westerns and Christian fiction and… well, it would really reflect who am I.
After all, you are the stories you read.
And I guess that makes me a weirdo. And I can live with that.
How about you? How many off that list of 1000 books have you read? Do you find yourself wandering from the best sellers?