It goes without saying, I am a reader.
I'm not one of those people who would say they couldn't live without books, but I would say that my life is dramatically improved by books. I might even go so far as to say that books are a part of my reason to live. The characters and the stories and the participation in the lives of others make life sometimes manageable, and other times, downright worth all the weariness of it.
That having been said, I'm no John Puchniak, a man who was evicted from his Philadelphia apartment for having too many books. His landlord told him his collection of over 3000 books was a "fire hazard and an immediate danger to all the other tenants." This is a guy who would probably say he couldn't live without books. Unfortunately, he can't really live with them either.
Who better to get a book suggestion from than John Puchniak himself, who, in addition to reading a busload of books written in English, also reads novels in Hebrew, Spanish, and Polish. If he had all the time in the world to read, he says he would start with Murasaki Shikibu's, "The Tale of Gengi," which documents Japanese courtlife from 950-1050 A.D. After that he would like to read all of Proust's, "Remembrances of Things Past" - the Montcrieff edition, of course.
If I had all the time in the world -- well, I try to read like I do. Otherwise I would just get overwhelmed. They say Wordsworth was the last person who could have possibly read everything ever written. I am striving to read at least 1% of everything ever written. I think John Puchniak might reach 3% of everything ever written. Maybe 5%.
Toward my 1%, I'm currently reading Carson McCullers, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." Anyone who wants to have a little online book club with me in reading this would be welcomed and appreciated. Also, discussions and insights into other items on my summer reading list would also be appreciated. This includes but is not limited to: Martel's, "The Life of Pi," most of Jeanette Winterson, Coetzee's, "Elizabeth Costello," and Coelho's, "The Alchemist."
For more on the inspiring Mr. John Puchniak, go here: