14 May 2008

Pretentious Book Game

I'm currently going through a bookshelf crisis. I have books I've read, ones I reference often, books I need to finish, books I've given up on, and ones that stress me out just looking at them. I finally put the ones I wanted to get rid of in a box (I'm talking to you, Faulkner!) to de-clutter. As soon as I decided it was okay to release these books into the world for others, Mike said, "Are you sure you won't want to read those?" So of course I faltered for a few weeks.

rainbow books

However, isn't that why I support my local library? And do I really need to hang on to important works of literature that I couldn't bear to finish in college so that I can appear well read? No. Of course I've kept many of the classics, and ones that I love like a dear friend. I think after seeing this post on
Lisa's blog, I can fill out the list and it can help me to get rid of my box of books.

Here is how you play.
Library Thing has a list of the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by their users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22 (I love you, Yossarian)
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote (My brother's favorite book, on my list to read)
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife (One of my favorite books, hands down.)
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (I hugged this book and cried at the end)
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Another author you'll fall in love with. I have never laughed or cried so hard within one book or even one chapter.)
Atlas Shrugged (Oh, I had an Ayn Rand kick back in high school...)
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (I heart Stephen Daedalus)
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead (Twice. Told you about that Ayn Rand kick. Oy vey.)
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel (Loved this book, but hated all of the characters)
Angels & Demons (If you have this book on your shelf, you are not allowed to be pretentious. Ha ha.)
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Miserables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury (My archnemisis...Faulkner. Just kidding.)
Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

In conclusion, I don't think that this is the most comprehensive list of books, but it was fun nonetheless. Does anyone else have a book overload problem like this? How did you solve it?


Karen said...

I put all the books in a room I haven't been going in to lately - lol. But I think I'm going to list them :)

It's hard to let books go in the world. I feel your pain.

sulu-design said...

I fear that for me, most of what would be in bold would also be underlined. What font do you use for books you were supposed to read in school and never did?

Carrie said...

I have this same problem, and I just tackled it a bit the other day. The worst part would be my cook books. I like to cook, so I get a lot of cookbooks as gifts...and I ALWAYS feel bad getting rid of gifts. But I went through all the cookbooks and made a keep pile and a donation pile and tried to make the two piles equal in size. The next day, I brought the donation books to work and put them on a table in the office for people to take if interested :)

Kat - Taylor Made designs said...

Oh I had a serious book addition a few years back...it got bad I tell ya! I ran out of room! (not to mention how much $$$ I use to spend! My list would be huge. I don't think I have the time or energy to do what you did~

I'm a huge fan of the public library now. It's wonderful. I go online, log into my account, tell them which books I want, they pull them, send me an email saying they are ready for pick up. It could not be more perfect!

Lisa said...

I highly recommend unburdening yourself by selling these books on Amazon.com to others with the desire to look more erudite. I made quite a few sheckles getting rid of most of my pretensions... but Muffy assures me, not all... hehehehe

Knit - R - Done said...

A life as a military wife has cured me of book hoarding. It's just so much to deal with.

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I can't tell you how many times I have bought + sold + bought + given away "Confederacy of Dunces" to The Goodwill. I have friends who L-O-V-E it, but I just can't get into it (a copy is currently on my bookshelf).
Yes, the library is wonderful! I am a HUGE supporter + it's a great way to prevent this dilemma.
AND you really should complete "Unbearable Lightness of Being," which is my favorite book.