Books from all corners of the world!

With less than a week left of 2015, I’ve started thinking about this past year and the future year to come. The past few days at the library have been really slow, but has allowed the few of us who have worked there over the holidays to talk a lot and sort of get to know each other a little bit better. One of my co-workers is resolving to read more books next year. This seems to be a fairly common resolution, with people coming up with challenges and goals around how many books they want to read, certain topics they want to delve more into in the coming year, etc. A regular patron of ours came in yesterday to pick up an inter-library loan that arrived for her this week and, for the first time, I heard that she’s actually working toward a reading goal herself. I thought she was just very interested in books and topics that we don’t seem to have in our library system, but no! She’s doing a very interesting and cool project. She is trying to read one book from every country. She’s not just wanting to read a book about every country; her project is to read a native author’s writings about their native country. There are some good links to websites that can help with this sort of project. Yesterday she picked up Malta. I hadn’t known this was something she was doing, so I really need to ask her more about it the next time I see her. I find this goal really fascinating! What a good idea, I thought! The most difficult part seems to be finding these books translated into English.

I don’t know how this particular patron came about deciding to do this. When googling around about it, I found an article from The Atlantic about a woman in London who did this project: International Literature Challenge

Here’s another really decent list: Reading the World

I remember a Goodreads challenge from several years ago that included reading books translated from another language. It is really not as easy to find translated materials as you might expect. Now that I know what this particular patron is doing, I’m remembering all of the ILLs that she’s had recently. Public libraries are somewhat limited to what they can offer someone in this type of project, but the beauty of inter-library loan is that you don’t just have one library at your disposal, you have hundreds!

Anyway, as you leave 2015 behind and are thinking about the next year, is there any sort of reading goal that you’ve set for yourself? I haven’t yet set one for me. I was looking over the Reading the World list though, and there are some interesting looking titles on there. I don’t want to hop on a bandwagon, but it would be nice to broaden the scope of what I’m reading. I’m not a reading snob by any means. I applaud anybody reading anything. However, I felt a pang of inadequacy for a brief moment when a co-worker told me he’s reading his way through Proust. I’m reading my way through “A Duke but No Gentleman”, the first in a new series of romance paperbacks.

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