I’m on a mission: reading one book from every winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Why? Because I can. And because I love books. Others collect husbands or stamps from dead countries. I’m collecting Nobel Laureates, dead or alive.
A long journey
Now, this is what you call a long term project! It means to read 116 books, and counting. And I said read, not just skim over a few lines and then head over to an internet summary.
Even if I can do an average of one book per month, this still means I’ll need ten years, finishing in 2030 or so. Probably this is still rather optimistic, as I have three kids to raise and a full time job.
Rules of Engagement
Every Mission should have some rules. Here are mines:
1. Chronological order.
Starting in 1901 with the very first Nobel Prize winner until the present. I expect this to be a fun experience on its own.
2. One author, one book.
It has to be a book I haven’t read yet. As there is no Nobel Prize in Literature winner I’ve read from A to Z this should be technically possible. It hasn’t to be the biggest and fattest oeuvre he or she ever published, but selecting a 10 page essay doesn’t count.
3. Read the entire book.
I always said that life is too short to read a bad book. (There is a substantial number of titles I abandoned after a few pages or even half way through. With no regrets, I don’t like wasting my time.) But this rule of mine doesn’t apply here. Even if a book is crap and I totally hate it, I will read it until the bitter end.
4. Original language. No translations.
I don’t speak Chinese nor Norwegian, so there will be (a lot of) exceptions to this rule. But with my mediocre knowledge of German, English, Portuguese, French and Spanish I should cover 60% of the authors. In that cases, no excuses.