Blogging is, at its root, a random act of sharing, usually fueled by hopes that something one person writes will resonate with someone else in this vast online world we occupy.
So, here goes. I might as well come clean. I am a deep, DEEP book geek. And it goes way back. The following three examples should illustrate my point adequately:
1) As a high school junior with a scholarship to a prestigious ballet school 3,000 miles away from my family, I allocated $60 of my $75 weekly FOOD STIPEND to buy books at the local B. Dalton Booksellers -- EVERY WEEK for an entire school year. I returned home the following June with one suitcase full of tiny leotards, but had to UPS the four HUGE boxes of novels I had acquired.
2) I once asked an English teacher to be excused from her class for the year, save for on test days, on the grounds that it wasn't hard enough. (What can rival the sheer nerve of a precocious teenager?!) Much to my amazement, she actually agreed, and let me spend her class periods in the neighboring college's library, digging through poetry books and copying good ones into my "favorite poems" journal.
3) One of my private dreams as a teenager was to read every book that had ever been made into Cliff Notes. (No, I still haven't finished!)
Perhaps you are starting to get a sense of my early bookgeekery? Only, it didn't stop at adolescence.
One day, about ten years ago, in a fit of boredom at a dreary desk job, I decided to compile a list of every book I had ever read. This list could include cookbooks (a long subset of its own), children's books, any college textbooks worth remembering, self-help titles, poetry collections, you name it. But, I had to have read it from start to finish to be worthy of inclusion on The Lifetime Booklist.
As innocently as it began, my list quickly became an obsession. And, like any obsession worth its salt, it never strays very far from my mind.
Nowadays, browsing at Barnes and Noble's for me is a kind of scavenger hunt where potential new reads are also viewed as future trophies for the list, combined with a tireless search for books already read but carelessly omitted from the list (this happens once in a great while, and is a bit like winning the lottery).
When, in 2012, my list crested past the 400 title mark, it was deemed an occasion worthy of a fancy-restaurant outing with a dear friend and fellow bibliophile.
So, there. I've confessed, and you might think me odd. But to tell you the truth, I can't imagine a life without books OR without The Lifetime Booklist. In fact, I highly recommend you begin yours today, if you dare.
Now, onwards to 500, one shining story at a time.