Now before I go any further, I’d like to point out that I am only 26 years old at the moment, and am not planning this as if it were next week or anything.
The thing is, there are some books that I look at, and think “I really want to read this”, but then I also think “but not now. I don’t have the time/energy/patience/wisdom to appreciate it.” Some of these books I have attempted to read before, only to find myself a few pages or chapters in and suddenly running out of steam to persevere. And I’m starting to admit to myself, finally, that I’m going to read these books one day, just not for a very long time. And maybe that’s a good thing.
So, here I give you some books which I would love to read, but at a much later point in my life, when my world slows down a little and I have more time and energy to devote to such reading endeavours as these.
It’s not just the length of this epic Russian novel which deters me, although being the seventh longest novel (according to Wikipedia, so it must be true) certainly makes the task of defeating this book slightly more daunting. Truth be told, I started reading this a couple, actually maybe a few, years ago, and didn’t get very far. It was slow, about eleventy bazillion characters were introduced almost simultaneously, and…well…it just didn’t really grab me at the time. There is a part of me that wonders if I would enjoy more now, as I have grown immensely as both a reader and writer in the last few years. But after having tried once, the 587 000 words that make up this story become less motivating, especially when I consider that I could read 4 or 5 other decent sized books in that time. I will read this one day, I promise. But just not now.
As a history student, teacher and general nerd, I feel it is my duty to read this at some point. Written in Ancient Greek over 2400 years ago, it is considered by many to be the founding history book, the one that started this whole tradition of writing history down so that future generations can learn about it. Herodotus had travelled much, and so had a lot to put into this book, although many people consider some of his stories exaggerated and embellished in places (although we can still learn a lot from them). I guess, truth be told, when it comes to learning about ancient civilisations, there are not only writers from that time that are much easier to read, but there are numerous writers from our time who are much easier to read, as well. If I was a historian, if I had the time to dedicate to making this a full time job of sorts, then of course I’d hurry up and read this and every other important ancient history book immediately. But for now, I feel no rush. I’ll get around to it in my old age, I’m sure.
Again, this is a book that will outrage some people when I say I’m going to wait until retirement to read. But I just am. This Spanish book from the early 1600s is considered one of the earliest canonical novels, and often one of the greatest too. Fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, it follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, a man who upon reading books filled with chivalry attempts to revive it on his travels. It is supposed to be clever, witty, full of intertextuality and other literary concepts way ahead of their time, and I’m sure it’s a work of genius. It is, like the first two books mentioned here, sitting on my shelf, staring at me, yearning for me to pick it up and read it. And I will do this. In about forty years. I think one of the big things here holding me back is that I feel like I need to be more well-read across the board before I attempt this one – I think being well-read, especially with pre-1600s literature, would help me appreciate this a whole lot more. One day, Cervantes, I will read this and love it, I promise you.
There are a lot more books that I could put in this list, so maybe one day I will write a part two to this blog post. But this will do for now.
What books do you really want to read, but you are leaving until later in life to attempt? Why is this the case?