|Photo courtesy of Number10|
Not that I'm claiming the books themselves are absurd. How would I know? I haven't read them! Rather, this list is about my ridiculous behavior in owning books without ever reading them. A few of these I've owned for nearly 30 years! And I'm only 34! It's really time to either read them or start letting them see other people, don't you think? Anyway, here goes.
10. The Adventure of English, by Melvyn Bragg--owned about 8 years. It really is ridiculous that a woman who holds an MA in Linguistics has not read this book yet. It's a popular-level history written by a novelist, for heaven's sake. You'd think I'd be able to handle it.
9. The Isles: A History, by Norman Davies--nearly 10 years. Considering that this book is nearly 1,300 pages long, I think you can understand why I've been a bit intimidated about taking it on, and how easily life got in the way the few times I tried. I'm determined to do it someday, though, like the die-hard Anglophile that I am.
8. The Story of My Experiments with Truth, by Mohandas K. Gandhi--approximately 13 years. I have no idea what has kept me from reading this book, and once again, I have actually tried and it beat me. No clue what the problem is on this one.
7. Cancer Ward, by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn--also about 13 years. It's just kind of depressing, the premise of this book. I really do think it's probably an awesome read. Maybe now that I'm no longer dealing with loved ones who are terminally ill, I'll be able to read this without that depressive feeling being quite so strong.
6. The Fields of Bannockburn, by Donna Fletcher Crow--15 years. I bought this and started reading it to my parents the summer before I started college; at that point, I'd never yet read a 700-page book. When summer ended, we were only about 1/3 of the way through. They finished it without me. I still haven't read it all.
5. Demons, by Fyodor Dostoevsky--15 years. The cover art for the version of this book that I have is certainly thrilling. I bought my copy during my undergraduate days, and when my mom came to visit and saw it on the shelf in my dorm room, she nearly had a heart attack. She was terrified of what these godless heathens might be teaching me in my literature classes.
5. The Walking Drum, by Louis L'Amour--at least 20 years. To be perfectly honest, I haven't checked on my shelves for so long that I'm not sure I even still own this book, but to the best of my recollection, I do have a copy of it. I have really enjoyed many of Louis L'Amour's books. I don't know what ails me that I haven't just picked this one up and read it by now.
4. The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas--20 years. I got my first copy of this book when I was in high school. I can attest from repeated experience that the first 5 pages are very humorous, and bring you right into the action from the get-go. Beyond that point, I know nothing.
3. Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen--15 years. It is RIDICULOUS that such a fire-breathing Jane Austen fan as I am has never finished reading Jane's original canon of novels. Utterly ridiculous.
2. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen--15 years. See everything I just said about Northanger Abbey.
1. THE BIBLE--30 years. I have owned countless copies, versions and editions of this book, or collection of books. I am finally reading it all the way through, though I must say, I'm making abysmally slow work of it. It's been about a year and a half since I started, and I still haven't finished the Old Testament.