I stumbled across a brilliant idea while shamelessly blog surfing today: Project Fill-in-the-Gaps. I found it on the blog “Editorial Ass,” and there it’s attributed to the author of The Spanish Bow, Andromeda Romano-Lax. The project addresses all of those many books that I’ve always had on my list to read (or maybe even on my bookshelf). Here’s Romano-Lax’s original plan, as described on Editorial Ass:
She collected a list of 100 books that she wants to have read in her life to fill in some of her reading gaps of classics and great contemporary fiction. She knew it was a monumental task ahead of her–we all tend to choose fun things instead of things we should read, right? At least I do–so she gave herself 5 years to try to get through the list, and gave herself 25% accident forgiveness, meaning if she finishes 75 titles in 5 years, she’ll consider herself to have been victorious.
It’s overwhelming to even begin, though. What makes the cut? What doesn’t? Should I include mostly classics? Award winners? I started to make my list and when I got to about five, I stopped. It was disheartening – like I was taking away free choice for the next five years.
It’s been difficult to keep track of the many books that I’m interested in reading. I’ve used goodreads.com, I’ve dedicated a reader’s journal to the project, and I have the “on the bookshelf” posts every once in a while, but nothing’s really worked. I think it would be handier to have an ongoing list. (Plus, I could make little checkmarks to the books I’ve read, which is always a treat for me.) Maybe, as I put a book “on the bookshelf” on my blog, I’ll keep track of it on a separate page as well. Hopefully this idea will stick!