And that is, you don’t have to read any of the books on it.
Who really cares whether you do or whether you don’t?
It’s just a list of books that a specific writer, journalist, or editor puts together simply because they liked them and think you might also.
And sometimes weight of sales numbers will dictate popularity, and therefore some basis to any particular list.
Of course, this doesn’t work if all you read is comics or romance books like Mills and Boon. Hey, that’s fine. You’re reading and this is one of the most important aspects of life, to read, and sometimes, to memorize.
I know that my life changed dramatically when I read books, lots of different sorts of books. I’ve never recommended anyone read the dry, dusty tomes about neurosis for psychiatry, or a history of the Roman Empire simply because of it something I was interested in after I saw the movie, Ben Hur.
In a similar manner when we go to school, the curriculum sometimes dictates we read sure books, provided this is to give us an understanding of life centuries before, or that there is some deeper, more sinister, meaning to it all, but some of those books I had to read, back then, the meaning was missing on me.
But should I not read them? I know most of the kids in the course didn’t because they considered reading a waste of time. There were more important matters to do like chase girls and play a sport. And torment the teachers. From what I hear, little has changed.
But the point here is, in my case, I’m just giving you the drum on what I read to improve my literary understanding, of life, and of the world, and possibly in a small way, help with my writing. After all, writers must read, particularly in their genre so they have some idea of what readers want.
But again that two-word phrase ‘Must read’ is an unlucky and often misused heading. We do it all the time. Ten films you ‘must-see’, ten matters you ‘must-have’, ten places you ‘must go’ usually before you die.
It amuses me to see books with a 1000 somethings you must do before you die. I will no doubt be well and truly dead before I get midway through even one of those lists, that is, provided I actually took any notice of them.
But, what’s more interesting is that I like to see how numerous I haven’t done, which is probably the reason why we buy the book, usually off the sale table.