Monday, August 17, 2009

Ambitious Readers

You gotta love ambitious readers. Like A. J. Jacobs, the guy who tried to read his way through the complete Encyclopedia Britannica, and wrote up his experience in The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World.

I recently came across the blog, to which I promptly feed-subscribed, of an equally (if not more) ambitious reader. Its title appropriate captures the Reader's mission statement:

For anyone who enjoys Penguin Classics, this immediately raises the questions: how many titles are there? and, how long would it take to read them all?

Answer to the first: "According to Penguin there are 1,400 books in the series but I think this includes several duplicates, such as works of Shakespeare in different formats."

And, without demonstrating the slightest hint of emotion at the prospect, answer to the second: "this is my attempt to read as many of the Penguin Classics series as I can. This project started in February 2009 and my estimated completion date is 2029." (italics are mine)

Kudos to this reader, described on the blog only as "Fat Cat, An Investment Manager living and working in London."

I for one plan to follow his reading adventures through the vast catalog of Penguin titles. He started in February 2009 and has already read 43 classics. It's not all about quality of course, so it's a good thing his entries are pretty fun to read also.

Only 1,357 books to go, Fat Cat. Bravely read on!

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