So what’s the point of this blog quest? Several reasons, really.
Self Improvement: I’ve been on a self-improvement kick over the last few years–taking public speaking classes, running half-marathons and marathons, and now I want to read a ton of books. I think it’s just continuing a trend in my life. Of course, I’ve still got a lot of stuff to work on.
Do I have the time? Not really. I’m at work 45 hours a week, at least. I have a three-month old. I’m training for a marathon right now. In between all that, I can find an hour at lunch every day, and maybe an hour at night while the baby is going to sleep to read. That’s all I got, max, on an ideal day.
But I feel like reading just makes me smarter, and it makes me a better writer. It’s like eating healthy or exercise–you can come up with a lot of reasons not to do either, but if you really want to do it then you will make time for it. If reading makes me a better writer–and I believe it does–then I need to make time for it, no matter how hectic life is.
Why fiction? I used to be one who rarely read fiction. I was a non-fiction guy–memoirs, creative nonfiction, biographies, inspirational Christian stuff, self-help, whatever. Those books are all well and good; I’ve read them for years and will continue to read them. But the best writers are fiction writers.
Think about the greatest authors of all time. Who comes to mind? Probably not a lot of nonfiction guys. And this comes from a guy who spends his week writing nonfiction articles. You can learn a lot from fiction when you read the good stuff, not the grocery store paperbacks. It’s not just escapism.
And, then…why not? If I’m going to read books anyway, why not read the best? I’ve always loved lists, so this just gives me one to follow for a couple of years.
Why Time Magazine? In 1998, The Modern Library published a list of the best 100 novels since 1900. I could’ve gone with that one. But while researching this idea, I found a lot of people on the internet were blogging about reading through the Modern Library list. There truly is nothing new under the sun. But I wanted to do something different. Plus, I honestly like Time‘s list better…it has a few more books that I haven’t heard of, and there’s some mystery in that for me. So Time it is.
There you go. Just a few random thoughts on this little quest.