I am soon leaving the land of libraries and inter-library loans, and now I realise how I have scorned this fantastic privilege. I have had every opportunity to read almost any book I could wish, free of charge, and I have taken up the offer so rarely! The problem is that the land of libraries is also the land of countless distractions which keep one from reading. Especially slow and easily distractible readers like myself, who are already reading 30 (good) books a year for school.
Before I leave the land of abundant books and travel to the land (ironically) of abundant time for reading, I want to properly use the library service. I can’t read any and every book I want in just a couple of months, though: I’ll have to prioritise. So I thought I’d compile a list of books I would like to read, and then, with your help, narrow it down.
The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I have, actually, borrowed and read the first three books of this series, but I stopped there. The books were light and enjoyable, and I liked aspects of Flanagan’s writing, but the series seemed slightly structureless (not totally a bad thing, I suppose) and some of the characters seemed to change too quickly. I have seen a lot of praise for the book on forums et cetera, and it is endorsed on This Page Intentionally Left Blank, so the series is unlikely to degenerate after book 3. Furthermore, the author is fellow Australian and it gives me certain national pride to read good books by Aussies. On the other hand, there are a lot of books in the series, and time is running down.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. So many people love this book, and I don’t think I have heard anyone say that they don’t like it (admittedly, I haven’t asked most people). It is not quite as popular as Harry Potter or even The Hunger Games, but I think it is more widely approved. As a result, this series would probably be top priority except that, strange to say, I read the first Artemis Fowl book (and indeed I own it in the land of time-for-reading) and I didn’t find it that amazing. It is possible, however, that I was merely uncultured when I read it and next time I pick it up I will very much enjoy it. I think I may have friends who own certain titles in this series.
Inkworld by Cornelia Flunke. I have seen this trilogy recommended by various readers/writers, but I don’t know much about it. It doesn’t top my list, but I would like to read it some time.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. This is another series which has been very popular, but which I haven’t read. I asked somebody about the series recently and she described it as “better than Harry Potter“. Rick Riordan is a very popular writer, and to not read anything of his without good reason would be plain illiterate. Furthermore, the original series is only 5 books, so I think it would be realistic to read it before I leave. On the other hand, if it is very good, I could conceivably buy it on my kindle.
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. By the same author as the Percy Jackson series, this one seems slightly less fantastically popular. I got the free sample for the first book on my kindle, but I haven’t decided from that how much I like it. It is certainly very readable, but I haven’t decided whether I think it is high quality or not. There are (I think) only three books in this series, so this would be more affordable to buy on my kindle if they are good.
The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman Series by Brian Jacques. Amazingly, I have read 21 of the 23 Redwall books – and the only one I own was given to me by the friend who lent most of the other 20. While the Redwall books were great entertainment, all of them were pretty similar, and The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman was fairly similar to the Redwall books. I’m sure they would be good entertainment, but I probably won’t go out of my way to read other titles in the Flying Dutchman series.
After thinking through all of these, I reckon the first priority is probably Percy Jackson. Artemis Fowl would be major, of course, but since I didn’t fall in love with the series instantly, and I might be able to borrow them from people, I think I’ll wait with that one. My decision isn’t iron-clad, of course, so if you have a different opinion (or really think I should read a book that isn’t even on the list) then don’t hesitate to say so. On the other hand, if you would go for Percy Jackson too, in my circumstance, tell me so that I can be surer of my choice.