It was a rude awakening. To realise that despite having read hundreds, probably thousands, of (nonfiction) books a simple 100 best nonfiction books would highlight a glaring lack of knowledge.
Such was the wake up call this morning seeing the Guardian’s Robert McCrum’s 100 best nonfiction books of all time, the listicle post of 100 reviews previously published.
Of course, I could always claim having grown up with English as fourth language or not being British and thus being exempt of having had to read much of what would have been compulsory reading otherwise, but that would be too easy a cop-out.
The fact is that I love reading and I’m a sponge for knowledge. A true leech, a knowledge leech.
While I don’t do New Years Resolutions, one of the things I always wanted to do a better job at was to keep track of all books I read. Sadly enough, the excellent Readmill app was shortlived and I haven’t switched to the Kindle app yet. Thus unlike all my music listened is scrobbled to last.fm, and Plex scrobbles any movie or TV series I watch through it to trakt.tv, my reading habits are not tracked.
I suck at grabbing a device just to make a record. I’m not a servant to my devices.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
Image mashup by the Guardian
But a list of the 100 greatest of all time is always going to create a desire to check them all off and what better way to do that with books than with a Goodreads list.
Goodreads, that one lifestreaming profile I always failed maintaining.
I’m going to dig my way through Robert McCrum’s list this year... and next year... and the year after. At the same time it will help me starting a discipline to record anything I read.
Record it and feed the online company who once were a bookstore with valuable data. Valuable data to learn and know better than I myself do which book I want to read next.
If you’re interested to do the same, you can find the Goodreads list here or you can hop over to the compilation on the Guardian and cherry pick the books you want to read from Robert McCrum’s 100 best nonfiction books of all time.
I better stock up on the red wine to keep me company while digging my way through even more books in the next few years.
One tree, two men... waiting for Godot. Photo by North Leeds Life Group
And yes, I better install the Kindle app and connect it to Goodreads so I don’t need to manually keep track of everything.