Saturday, February 9, 2008

A List and a Question


Over at Aloi Reads, she posted about a list she found of 1001 books to read before you die, from a book of that name edited by Peter Boxall. The list is posted here, as a downloadable spreadsheet, and also here at Lists of Bests, where they have pictures of the cover art of the books.

I both love and hate lists like this. On the one hand, it's always fun to compare your reading to others', and to have it spur you to think about which books you really want to read. On the other hand, I'm never satisfied with such lists. "Canons" like this always have the compilers' biases. They always leave out books or authors I think should be on them. Also, there's that pressure to read all the great books before I kick the bucket.

But even so, I enjoyed checking out this list, and checking my reading progress against it. Some of my favorite books of all time weren't on it, but it also included many authors and books I've always been meaning to read.

So overall, it's an inspiring list--I'm sure it will inspire me to read some things I hadn't thought of in awhile, or things I had just passed over for whatever reason. What do you think of the list?


Okay, on another topic--here's a question for you bloggers, just for laughs. Every day I get a few people who get to my blog by googling the words "shelf life", or "shelf life of (fill in the blank)", presumably looking for how long they can keep their canned goods. Well, as much as I wish I could, I can't help them there. But it led me to wonder who gets to other people's blogs by accident. So, what are the funniest things people are looking for when they accidentally get to your blog?

12 comments:

Cass said...

I also own a copy of this book. I'm with you in that I enjoy how it inspire me to go back and read some 'classics' I've not gotten around to reading, but I don't take it as seriously as the title suggests I should!

Gentle Reader said...

cass--exactly--if I took the list too seriously, think how paralyzing that would be!

litlove said...

I adore my search engine terms. My best one to date has to be 'Can I date a vampire?' I only hope my site gave some enlightenment...

trish said...

It's a long story, but I posted it here: http://trishsdiary.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/why-do-you-blog/

Bybee said...

people seem to be looking for nudity when they stumble into my blog, then just as quickly stumble out again...

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--I've finally started writing down some of the funny search words people use when they get to me. But so far I haven't gotten anything as creative as "Can I date a vampire?" I hope you helped the poor soul, too...

trish--lol, I read your post! It's a good thing we don't actually have to have contact with the people who come to our blogs mistakenly :)

bybee--Your blog's name probably attracts quite a bit of attention! I hadn't thought of that before :)

Lisa said...

I actually bought this book from Easton Press (leather). Yes, I know I have a serious problem!

Gentle Reader said...

lisa--lol, I'm just glad to know I'm not alone in "having a problem"!

Eloise said...

Being 'Eloise by the Book Piles' I get a few poor people who are looking for advice on how to cure piles, I always feel a bit guilty about them!

John Mutford said...

I get a ridiculous number of people looking for "Will Ferrell Patriotic Thong."

TheElementary said...

I have the book and couldn't help but notice that editor Peter Ackroyd's own books were on the list of 1001 books...it struck me as odd, to say the least.
I like the book as a book-about-books but I don't find it substantial as a guide, because 'best' is subjective. Not necessarily bad- except for the first point I made-just not for me. However I very much like reading about different books and the various novels' cover art included on every page was worth the price of the book.

I'd like to answer your second question but have one of my own to ask: how on earth do you find out what brought people to your page? Where do you see the search entries? I can't figure that out!

Arukiyomi said...

Thanks for the link to the spreadsheet on your post. Much appreciated and I hope you find it useful as you explore some of the titles in the 1001 list.