Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obscure Reads

I approach reading as someone with a small budget and a huge appetite might approach their options while picking a place to go to lunch. They would be most likely to select an all you can eat buffet hoping to stuff themselves to the gills before they head out of the establishment. Yet more often than not, a lot of the food they plan on eating remains untasted - there is only so much even the hungriest person can eat even after allowing for a huge appetite. 

Similarly, I go on a binge when borrowing books from a library - everything that is of interest comes home with me. I start reading all the books in parallel, leave most of them midway because I am too full from reading in the short amount of time I have available. It's not any different in a bookstore - I will try to go through as many as possible in the time that I am there. I always want to consume more than I have capacity for.

With that reading lists are very important to me - I used to make my own before the Internet days. Long lists, scribbled on the last page of notebooks but never referred to when it may have been useful to do so. There would always be ten other things that I'd find even more interesting to browse through - my list could wait until later. Now, I don't bother with making my own lists - there are so many vastly superior ones out there. I love reading lists compiled by others - ideally those that do not include the usual "Top 100" suspects - like this one from NPR of the best foreign books that you have not heard of.

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