Reading challenge!

My dear reading compatriots:

I would like to propose something of a challenge. While I don’t know the range of linguistic abilities among us, having never met the majority of you, I wonder if it would be possible for us as a group to undertake the same sort of challenge as BBC’s Ann Morgan.

Would it be feasible for the group of us to read a book from every country in the world in one year? Could this be our 2014 challenge?

I’d love to hear your feedback. And happy reading!


8 thoughts on “Reading challenge!

  1. suroora

    Great idea! Do books we’ve already read count? And I guess, from what you’ve said, that we are including books in languages other than English.

  2. suroora

    Four people on board now, including you and me–Imran and Jenifer are interested. And I won’t ask silly questions about including stuff we’ve read–I can merely pass those books on to one of you to read…

  3. Kris

    I think that Wouter would also be interested. I wonder if we could start a Google doc with all the countries listed, then fill in the books from each as we go along. Then we can collaboratively see which countries remain and close the gaps. I don’t think that books we’ve already read should count – that’s why we have a year to do it!

    1. suroora

      That’s a good idea, although I don’t know how to start a Google doc. I can provide a list of countries off the UN stats website. And I have lots of books to lend to anyone in Geneva who is interested in joining!

  4. usha

    Sorry to join in so late, but here is what I said to Suroor– Maybe we can each pick a type of challenge that we have either avoided or simply not thought about and try to work with that. For me a book in any language other than English, unfortunately, represents a challenge in a few cases and an impossibility in others. So I might think about reading something in Hindi or Tamil or even French or Spanish to try to meet this challenge but I suspect that I would end up paying more attention to the process of reading than to the content and style!

  5. JoCa

    Hi, I’m in on this too, great idea!

    Suroor, I’ve worked with Google docs before, so we can work that out together. I think we have to provide all the participants with the login (the same one for everybody), but maybe we can have a link to it on this blog to make it easily accessible.

    I think reading in translation is not just acceptable, but absolutely necessary in this endeavour! Not sure how your Kazakh or Hebrew is, but mine doesn’t go very far.

    I think we probably need to announce what we are reading, so we don’t duplicate countries. Six/seven of us is not very many to cover nearly 200 countries in a year. Perhaps we need to recruit some more avid readers?


  6. suroora

    I was talking to Imran today, and he suggested adding a reading list to the Google doc as an aide. I’m happy to do this from my reading–Abbas had asked me for this a while ago, and I sent him a list just off the top of my head. (I was quite proud of that!) I do have a list of countries already, so we can start the process.

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