Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Query, inspired by the GRE Reading List.

Is it better to assign books in high school that will inspire a love of reading or that form a part of the canon? In looking over the list, I realize I have read less than 1/3 of it. Some of it was not read but assigned, some read and assigned, and some not assigned but read anyway. About another 1/3 I tried to read and just wasn't inspired to finish. ("Heart of Darkness" was assigned, and attempted in high school, then attempted a couple of times since. "Apocalypse Now" is much more accessible, and the Secret Sharer is better written.)

I read constantly, voraciously, and find that I was not capable, at 14 or 15, of understanding many of these books in any meaningful way. I'm 32 and still too inexperienced for some of them. And, frankly, some of them just aren't all that great, either as writing or as ideas. Thomas Hardy is just overwritten.

(Thank you, Eve, for pointing out the list.)


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