I own a lot of books. It is dismaying, however, that I own so many that I have little to no interest in reading. I haven’t given them away yet, because I am suffering under this delusion that I will wake up one day with nothing I want to read and gamely pluck Beowulf or The Tale of Genji off the shelf. I doubt this will ever happen. I doubt I will ever be in a mood to read Don Quixote. So, these books are going to probably stay, unloved and unread, on my shelves for another decade or two.
To name a few of the neglected:
- Beowulf. Should read it; Guion even has the sexy Seamus Heaney translation with the creepy/awesome cover. But… ugh… man. It sounds like zero fun times.
- The Gulag Archipelago, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. Talk about zero fun times!
- The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu. I really should read this: It is the first true novel ever written and it was by a Japanese woman. Why haven’t I read this?
- Vanity Fair, William Thackeray. Also looks long and boring.
- Don Quixote, Miguel des Cervantes. Did anyone actually enjoy this novel?
- Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi. Someone told me the title is a lot more interesting than the book itself. Sounds plausible. I can’t bring myself to toss it.
- The Longest Journey, E.M. Forster. Is this one of your bad novels, Forster? Is it? No one ever talks about it, so I’m guessing that it is.
- Germinal, Emile Zola. Never read Zola; don’t even know what this is about; looks and sounds dry.
- The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy. I got over my Hardy phase when I was in high school.
- North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell. I watched the great BBC adaptation of this with Emily, but that novel looks so dauntingly long. And I already know how it ends.
Have you read any of these? Are they worth changing my opinions about?