I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but there are so many book recommendation lists out there. So many lists of books people tell us we have to read. And I’m sort of exhausted by it – but yep I’m my own devil because I do go through them and check them out.
16 Works That Ernest Hemingway Thought a Young Writer Should Read…..Top Ten Books to Read for Writers You Need to Read Now….30 Books to Read Before You’re 30…..Books to Read Before You Die (a Google search for this will bring up loads of examples)……the list literally goes on and on.
These lists are a good tool if you’re stumped what to read next – or if you’re looking for a recommendation for a book that has been given a glowing review. I use the BBC Big Read from all the way back in 2003 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml – if I can’t decide what to read next – this is never usually a massive problem for me.
But I don’t agree that they should be followed verbatim. Read what you want to. Read what you enjoy. And throw in a couple of these apparent ‘must-reads’ when you want too. For the most important thing a writer should do – apart for write a lot…is read a lot.
I think the problem with them is the apparent insistence that you must read all the books on this list if you want to call yourself a writer or if you like to read.
Use them as a guidance only. The important thing is to read.
I think my main issue is that there’s just so many of them. You can’t possible follow them all.
[True – the authors of these lists probably are just condensing down what they think a person should read and probably don’t think that you should work their way down the list religiously – or maybe they do.]