'One for the Books': 5 stories from Joe Queenan's exploration of his life as a reader

Writer Joe Queenan, a voracious reader, looks back on his life as a bibliophile in his new book 'One for the Books.' Here are five of his stories.

3. Reading projects


Queenan compiled a list of various reading projects he had undertaken over the decades. "Re-reading all the books in my collection that I had already read twice. Been there, done that. Great fun. 'Emma,' 'At-Swim-Two-Birds,' 'The Big Sleep,' and 'Beau Geste' never fail to step up to the plate.... Devoting a year to reading books by authors who burned out early. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arthur Rimbaud, Ralph Ellison, Alfred Jarry, Harper Lee. God, was that depressing.... Devoting a year to reading all the books in my library that I had never even started. There are actually only about fifteen of them, twenty max.... They are all books I want to read. They are all books I'm sure I will enjoy. The entire operation would probably take me no more than three months. The books are all sitting right there in the middle of my office. Why, then, can I not finish them? Or even start them? I have no idea."

3 of 5