Category: About Chronolit

There must be a word for it ….

There must be a word for it ….

My work week is split fairly evenly between a bookshop and a public library. At the former, I see new books arrive all the time and which books people are buying or waiting for, and which authors have new titles about to be published. At the latter I see what people borrow or request, and what is on the shelves from the last ten to fifteen years as I shelve the  returns. At least half the titles are fiction. I am surrounded day and night by literally thousands of books! And of course, it’s not just the books on the open shelves – I can browse the library stacks of low use titles, I can access the childrens’ and teen collections without feeling like an intruder, I can even score an occasional damaged book from the bookshop or an uncorrected proof copy of a new release. And unlike the university library I used to work in, I can imagine wanting to read a goodly percentage of the books about me now.

When I was young, reading was my consuming hobby, being neither sporty or adventurous. At university studying sciences, my reading for pleasure waned. While never completely stopped, it is only in the past few years that my reading has returned to those high levels of childhood.

Surrounded by books all day, I now feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of books I haven’t read. I will never get to read them all. This dismay is part of the reason for this enormous quest and blog.

“So many books, so little time”. Is there a word for this?



It’s a slow day in the bookshop. It’s raining (finally) and customers are also blowing into the shop in sudden gusts and out again. So I have time to think in between.

As I warned in my very first post, I do love lists, and naturally lists of books are of interest. I am toying with the idea of tagging my book posts with icons when the title appears on a ‘best of … ‘ list, so how would that have gone so far?

    ‘1001 Books to read before you die‘ lists titles chronologically (yay!) and varies across editions. The only Ancient Greek to feature in any edition is Aseop’s Fables (no Homer?!).

And then there’s ‘1001 Childrens’ Books to Read before You Grow Up’  as well 😊


‘Great Books of the Western World’ is also chronologically ordered, and covers 60 volumes in its second edition. Far more in tune with my efforts so far, it starts with the complete works of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, the medical texts of Hippocrates and Galen, and the mathematical treatises of Euclid and Archimedes, Apollonius and Nicomachus (I came off the rails with Plato and Aristotle, and didn’t even attempt the mathematics!) However, GBWW is a little more picky with the Romans, omitting Plautus and Terence, Cicero, Caesar, Horace and Ovid – but then they have an imposed publishing-driven limit.

Susan Wise Bauer’s ‘The Well-Educated Mind’ lists roughly 30 titles in each of six categories : Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Autobiography, History and Politics, and Science. So far I have unknowingly started her Drama, History and Science lists, doing pretty well with Herodotus and Thucydides, Plato’s Republic, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Euripides’ Medea, Aristophanes’  The Birds, and Aristotle’s Poetics, Hippocrates,  Gilgamesh and of course Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey,  but skipped Aristotle’s Physics. 😦


 Of course my most successful list is actually Penguin’s Catalogue of Classics, and it also stretches just far enough outside the Western Canon for my purposes, covering Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian classics.


Have I forgotten something obvious??

Not finishing everything on my plato

Not finishing everything on my plato

Ok I have looked ahead and made the decision to NOT read the rest of Plato except for The Laws (which is a biggie) and Timeaus and Critias (which at least sound interesting).

So I will be pushing the following Brussels sprouts to the side : Parmenides, Theaetetus, The Sophist, The Statesman, and Philebus. After all, life is short, and I’ll never get to Dickens if I don’t make some concessions.

After all, as Socrates himself said : “Party on, dudes!”

2016, 2017 and all that

2016, 2017 and all that

Hi everyone, wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year !

I can’t begin to guess where I might be or what I might be doing this time next year – 2016 has brought a lot of both expected and unexpected changes, not the least of which was leaving my job after 24 years.

As far as reading goes, I will close 2016 with 100 classics under my belt (74 of these read in 2016), and 2 successful spin challenges from the Classics Club, but still plowing through the Ancient Greeks, which I had hoped to be finished now, and The Old Testament. Both of these should be truly finished by the end of 2017. I would like to think I will also be finished the Ancient Roman literature, but only time will tell.

In addition to the above, I also hope to complete the Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2017

and also read the Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and L. Frank Baum’s Oz series for some light relief as joint reads.  That’s a big call with over 120 books in total across four goals, so looking forward to making a start first thing Sunday morning!

Again, best wishes to you and your families, and keep on reading!

Delay in posting

Apologies for the delay in a new post – my library is going through a workplace change process and there is not as yet a clear outcome for me. Either I will have a whole lot more free time to read and post in the near future, or I will find myself in a new role which might require some time to adjust. Please bear with me. bear