Posted by: biblioglobal | February 6, 2012

It’s not a race

Surprisingly, I didn’t try to estimate how long it would take me to read a book from every country before I started.  Over the past two months I’ve read and written responses to books from my first five countries. That’s probably a reasonable estimate for my reading rate going forward.  At that (possibly optimistic) rate, it will take me six and a half years to finish!

As a less-than-thirty year old, that seems like a very long time. I’m okay with that though. I’m enjoying the experience and feel like I’ve been learning a lot about the world already.

One thing that does slow me down is that I’ve given myself permission to not include every eligible book I read.  Last month I read a novel set in Ireland (but written by an American) about a woman who moves to a small village and learns to make lace. I randomly came across the book and wanted to read it, since bobbin lace-making is another hobby of mine. It didn’t look like it would be that great of a book though and there are so many other good options for Ireland, so I decided in advance that I wouldn’t count it. (I’m glad I didn’t because it was in fact pretty terrible.) The same thing happened for books set in India and Kenya. Not mention several books set in the United States- it’s hard to decide on a single book to represent my own country. (I’ve come to the conclusion that for the sake of fairness I should just semi-arbitrarily pick something, like I’m doing for everything else.)




  1. You are reading books at a faster clip that I do or than I did in grad school. I keep getting sucked into the internet instead of a book.

    My recommendation for a book on the U.S. would be to pick one written by a non-US resident. Something that helps you see your country the way (some) others see it would fit best with your theme. Pick something on the spectrum between Bill Bryson and Alexis de Toqueville.

    • Ooh, I like that idea! Stephen Fry in America would be one possibility. That’s probably better in its television format than in book form though. I’ll have to see what I can come up with.

  2. As I mentioned before, Patrick French has written 2 books on India and one on Tibet (if you are a “radical” and consider it a country that should get independent status for the reading project!). I am currently reading `India – A portrait’ and it is very insightful.

    • I’ve definitely considered including the observer nations- Vatican City and Palestine. If I included Tibet, then I’d have to include Western Sahara. And now I’ve learned that there’s a break-away nation within Moldova called Transnistria with its own government, border patrol, police and so on. It’s a slippery slope I think…

      • For Palestine, you can try something by Edward Saïd.

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