Friday, March 14, 2014

On Taking the BBC Book Quiz

Several of my Facebook friends have posted BBC's quiz on how many books one has read from its 100-item list. Well, naturally I could not resist this challenge. And I did quite well, with a score of 78. But I found myself feeling a little miffed that, given what an obsessive reader I am, my English major background, and the many years I have been reading, my score was not still higher. The reason I give myself for this is that some of the books on the list, despite BBC's imprimatur, are not classics, and are not even highly esteemed by critics and reviewers; they are popular but not necessarily of high literary quality. Of the 22 books I hadn't read, I would say half of them were books that I have never wanted to read, or thought important to read. I realize this may sound judgmental and/or defensive, but I wish the list were more consistent. I have to remind myself that, like so much on the Internet, this list is fallible and subjective, probably made up on the spur of the moment, and does not claim to be the definitive list of the best books of all time. I also remind myself to quash the competitive part of me that wants to have the best score in this area, an area where I do think of myself as strong: being well-read. So, dear readers, please forgive the self-indulgence of this post -- my true confession for the day!

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