The Broke and the Bookish, has the potential to be really really embarrassing for me because some of the books on my list? I've basically had for as long as I can remember (which isn't all that long admittedly, but still. LONG.) But I will admit to mine if you'll admit to yours, and then we can have a big online book party where we read all ten of them and feel immense pride about it, yes? Good.
Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf the Longest That I've Never Read
1. Bushwhacked: Life in George W Bush's America by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose- I don't know when I bought this (hopefully not too early in the Bush era...) but the problem I now have is that it's not relevant anymore, and it hasn't been for 3 years. Nonetheless, I've hung onto it, and one day I will read it... it'll just be a history book by the time I do!
2. Watership Down by Richard Adams- I think I bought this when my friend was reading it for her A level class and said it was really good... either that or when I saw Donnie Darko, so hopefully the former because that was only 5 (oh my...) years ago. Go me!
3. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray- I've had this for so long that I can't even visualise where or when or why I got it. It may well have been a birth present for all I know. It did nearly get read this year, but then I punked out of a readalong, and back to the shelf it went! Whoops?
4. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks- I think this must be another book I bought in college, and it's quite possible that I bought it because we read an extract from it in my English Lit class. What can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time!
5. Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris- I'd like to think I bought this after I read Chocolat (which is very good, by the way), but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that I bought it before reading Chocolat, because I had a feeling Chocolat would be good, and so this would be too. I am twisted and wrong.
6. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli- I know I bought this because it was either mentioned in my history or philosophy (or possibly both) class at college, and yet, for some strange reason, I haven't read it. Strange that.
7. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell- I am actually genuinely sad that I haven't read this yet, because it's supposed to be really good! So that's a definite one to go on the 'READ SOON' pile. As opposed to the 'read someday. Maybe.' pile...
8. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk- I have an actual reason for not having read this yet! It's because I love Fight Club SO much, and I can't read anything else by Palahniuk in case it's not as good (and yet how could it be?) and I get all disillusioned. So there.
9. Restoration by Rose Tremain- So, I bought this for the nerdiest reason ever- I had to do this exam where they gave us an extract to study beforehand, and the extract was from Restoration. I don't know if I bought the book because I thought I should read it to get some extra knowledge or what, but I haven't read it and the exam was 4 and a half years ago. Damn.
10. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf- I bought this because I had to, and then my seminar leader guy was all 'oh, let's not read To the Lighthouse, let's read High Fidelity instead.' Which was fair enough, and I love that book AND film, but I was pissed off because I'd bought the book! As a punishment, I missed his last two seminars, and didn't read To the Lighthouse. I win?
So yeah. I bought most of these books around college time, and that's because there were like 6 charity shops down one road that my college was also on, and what else is one to do with one's free periods other than go to the charity shops and buy books? And I kind of haven't stopped since... Damn.
Since I clearly have a problem, I've decided to take part in Bookish Ardour's Off the Shelf Challenge for next year (Shout out to Alice for alerting me to it!) and I think I'm actually going to try and read 50 books off my own shelves for the year, which is ambitious but not impossible, and quite frankly needs to be done. I'm considering enforcing a slightly lenient book buying ban (as in, I can buy Stephen King books and anything by favourite authors that's cheap- so not really a ban at all) until I've read all 50, but I might not be able to... we'll see! But yes, it's all very exciting! Bring on the 2012 challenges!