There are many "Books you should read before the Aztec calendar premonition comes true on December 21, 2012 and we all die horrible deaths as the world ceases to exist" lists out there.
One of my co-workers shared one with me last year, and even in its many iterations I find that sadly there are so many books still to be read.
How does one fit it all in?
What surprised me even more, however, is a conversation that took place a few days ago with my co-workers.
One of our students borrowed a Kindle from the library so she could read the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Great series, by the way, and you should totally check them out before the movie comes, and then, because you'll need snacks, also check out this great Website called Fictional Food. If you love food, and you love books, then this is the site for you.
Anyway, she finished the book and since she still had the Kindle for a few more weeks decided to read some of the free books already loaded on there.
I asked her what she was reading, and she replied Pride and Prejudice.
Oh, I said, you've never read it before?
Seeing as she is actually a very intelligent young woman, who happens to be a journalism and business major (which means she really does not know what she wants to be when she grows up), I thought that perhaps she would have read it in high school.
So I began to talk about my complicated relationship with Jane Austen.
And then I heard what I was saying, and I didn't want to discourage her from reading it, so I quickly reframed my comments to say, "This is an important book that everyone should read. I truly believe that. Besides, oddly enough, it does meet Harold Bloom's high standards for what should belong in the Canon, and it is a classic."
Then I asked one of my co-workers, who is working on a degree in English, if she had ever read the book.
No, was her answer.
I asked my red-headed friend who just earned her master's in student affairs leadership (or something like that).
No, was her answer as well.
My other co-worker was queried.
You know the reply.
I was astonished and quite frankly somewhat appalled.
What is happening to our society?
Granted, I never read the book until I was about 39 or so, and it was for a master's class but since then I've read it about 3 or 4 times.
And of course I've seen the A&E version with Colin Firth several times, and the Keira Knightley version too (not as good, no one beats Colin).
I'm anxious for our student to finish the book because when she's done I'm going to have her watch the series, and I want to see what she thinks.
Have you read Pride and Prejudice?
If yes, how many times?