Monday, May 13, 2013

In one year she succeeded in reading one book from every country in the world

Londoner Ann Morgan made it her mission to spend 2012 "reading the world".

Morgan, a freelance writer and sub-editor, writes on her blog:

In 2012, the world came to London for the Olympics and I went out to meet it. I read my way around all the globe’s 196 independent countries plus one extra territory chosen by blog visitors sampling one book from every nation.

I read a story from Swaziland, a novel from Nicaragua, a book from Brunei, a… well, you get the picture.

About four months into what every book-lover would consider a dream project, Morgan (pictured above) took stock in a piece she wrote for the Guardian, where she used to work:

With no idea how to go about [the mission] beyond a suspicion that I was unlikely to find a novel, short story collection or memoir from each of the 196 states in my local [bookshop], I decided to ask book-lovers around the world to tell me what I should be reading. The responses flooded in and soon the A Year of Reading the World list boasted hundreds of recommendations. Many people went further than simply suggesting titles, and volunteered to do research for the project, share contacts and go to bookshops in far-flung corners of the globe. One blog visitor even picked out and posted me two volumes from a bookshop in Kuala Lumpur.

In a recent interview with the Hindu (which is where I first read about this determined young woman), Morgan said her target was to read a book in 1.85 days, and blog about it, while she went about her normal routine. She also revealed that she is now working on a book about her project, Reading the World: Postcards from My Bookshelf, which will be published early next year.

Read Ann Morgan's fascinating blog posts to learn more about her "year in reading". Check out the list of books recommended to her from around the world. Read her Guardian article here. The Hindu interview can be accessed here.

Finally, stop by Ann Morgan's Facebook page for a quick scan of the books she read through the year. What an exhilarating journey this must have been!

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