Plowing through the insane number of boxes of books in my apartment does more than make me question how relentlessly acquisitive I am. It also reminds me of the strange twists and turns of my reading habits over the years. Remember when we were all reading Jim Thompson? I stumbled across all of my old Black Lizard editions a while ago. I’m also shocked to realize that at some point I felt compelled to consume all the Tobias Smollett I could get my hands on: How did I find time in the late 80’s to get through Peregrine Pickle? Not to mention all the theory, true crime pulp and vaguely experimental queer novels.
But the other thing that’s come up is those books that I haven’t made my way through, that sit exposed on my shelves in reproach. So, in hopes of starting a new meme, here are
THREE BOOKS I’M ASHAMED OF NOT HAVING READ
1. The Bible I’ve dabbled, and god knows I own enough copies but I’ve never sat down and gone cover to cover. I view my lack of familiarity with it as the intellectual equivalent of having a comb-over.
2. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius A title that is cited by gasbags in The New York Review of Books all the time, and yet I’m always defeated about a third of the way in. I don’t even have the excuse of saying that it’s too long.
3. Boswell’s Life of Johnson which is supposed to be a thumping good read full of spite, bile and adoration. And yet the closest I’ve come is snickering at the episode of “Blackadder the Third” that Johnson appears in.
There are many more – but for now I invite you to share the shame – post your three in your journal.