Call me narcissistic, but one thing that tends to release a ton of joyful endorphins into my brain is a reading list.
Having to study for my comprehensive exam (which takes place this November), I’ve made myself a 150-play list to get through, which I must have revised at least 10 times to organize it by author, genre, and what I finally decided upon: date (I’m currently sitting pretty in the very significant year of 1594. I’m working toward 1642!). My list is colour-coded to distinguish between mandatory and optional material (ie, you must read them but you get to choose which ones you will read out of the list given), and every time I finish a play, I enjoy the triumph of striking one off my list. That being said, what I can’t express enough how important it is to enjoy the journey of list making and list-striking because, more often than not, arriving at the destination isn’t always possible.
That’s why reading lists are often better kept for pleasure rather than business. For instance, by the time the snow starts melting in April, I excitedly start my summer reading list, filled with whimsical though drug-addled Beat novelists and Gonzo journalists; by August, I begin to look forward to spending the autumn with strong though deliciously discontented women writers like Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf.
Do you write reading lists? For what occasion? What’s your favourite aspect of the book list? Have you ever finished one? I’d love for you to share your stories with me.
Until then, here’s a list for your reading pleasure: a set of books all written by librarians. I’ve read two of them (extra points for guessing which!) and they were both an absolute pleasure. Let me know if this tickles your fancy! Enjoy!