As I swiped to the final e-page of Bleak House, I couldn’t help but smile. With that one swipe, I was onto the final page of the final book of the BBC Big Read: Top 200 that I started all the way back in 2007.
It took me eight long years to get through that list (having two babies in that time left little time or brain-capacity for much reading for a few of those eight!), but I did it, and it feels bloody marvellous.
I discovered books and authors that I possibly never would have tried had they not been on the list. I learned that I don’t have the patience for James Joyce’s waffling style, and that I have a soft spot for 19th-Century classics. I discovered that the books I thought I would find boring or not to my tastes were – mostly – very good, and that judging a book by its cover (I’m looking at you, The Name of the Rose) is never a wise thing to do.
Now, I’m going to enjoy reading books that people have recommended, as well as working through a few from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. I might start a new list some time in the future, but for the moment, I’m going to enjoy my freedom!